Period time

For university members and guests: HWR Berlin is now providing free menstrual products such as tampons and pads in eight toilets on the Lichtenberg and Schöneberg campuses.

Making period products accessible to all

European studies show that many people do not have a sufficient supply of period products. They simply lack the money or access to tampons and pads. Four questions answered by Birte Skrzypczak, who works for the representative for women‘s affairs and gender equality at the HWR Berlin:

1. How did the idea for period time emerge?

The idea was initiated by Dr. Susanne Meyer, professor and deputy president of the HWR Berlin, and implemented together with the representative for women‘s affairs and gender equality, Viola Philipp, and the women's affairs and gender equality office.

Period Time: Dispensers for pads and tampons are available in eight toilets on the Lichtenberg and Schöneberg campuses of the HWR Berlin. Photo: Lukas Schramm

Dispensers for pads and tampons are available in eight toilets on the Lichtenberg and Schöneberg campuses of the HWR Berlin. Photo: Lukas Schramm

The aim of the project is to make free period products available to everyone in public institutions such as our university. It is important to us to support menstruating persons who need period products at short notice and/or do not have the finances to adequately supply themselves with tampons and pads.

2. Where can I get free tampons and pads?

You can find dispensers with free pads and tampons in these restrooms at the Lichtenberg Campus of the HWR Berlin:

  • Building 1, room 1.0074: Barrier-free unisex toilet near canteen
  • Building 5, room 5.0009: Barrier-free unisex toilet
  • Building 6A, room 6A.114: Barrier-free ladies' toilet
  • Building 6B, Room 6B.264: Barrier-free ladies' toilet

You can find dispensers with free pads and tampons in these restrooms at the Schöneberg Campus of the HWR Berlin:

  • Building A: Barrier-free unisex toilet on the ground floor
  • Building B: Barrier-free unisex toilet on the 5th floor near the dining hall
  • Building C: Barrier-free unisex toilet on the ground floor
  • Building E: Ladies' toilet on the ground floor

Menstruation is still very much a taboo. Addressing periods and making period products available to all university members free of charge are important steps towards normalising this issue.

Birte Skrzypczak works for the Representative for women‘s affairs and gender equality at the HWR Berlin. Photo: private

3. How do free period products relate to gender equality and participation? 

Period products cost money. The term period poverty refers to the situation when menstruators lack the financial means to purchase sufficient period products. We support equal opportunities and equity in education for all and therefore want to ensure that a lack of period products is not the reason for not attending lectures or having to leave university early.

Moreover, the period often comes unexpectedly or people forget to carry enough period items with them. This is particularly inconvenient before an exam or a lecture. With the free period products, we would like to help prevent these situations.

4. What effect would you like to experience?

We would like to see a respectful use of the products provided, so that tampons and pads are always available for menstruating persons who acutely need them. The dispensers are mainly installed in our barrier-free restrooms for all genders, so that menstruating persons with a wide range of conditions have access to pads and tampons.

By promoting diversity, we want to further strengthen the acceptance of different conditions. In this context, we will continue our efforts to install more all-gender toilets and more restrooms with free period products. 

Contact

Representative for Women's Affairs and Gender Equality
Birte Skrzypczak

Campus Schöneberg
Building A, Room A 2.57
Badensche Straße 52
10825 Berlin