Whitepaper: The introduction of menstrual hygiene solutions at the Freie University of Berlin

Whitepaper: Die Einführung von Menstruationshygiene-Lösungen an der Freien Universität Berlin


A groundbreaking project on menstrual hygiene has been launched at the Free University of Berlin. Initiated by the decentralized women's and equal opportunities officer, in collaboration with the student councils of the biology, chemistry and pharmacy departments, this project aims to provide free menstrual products across the university. This initiative underlines the university's commitment to equality and inclusion by offering support to students and employees alike.

Motivation for the purchase

The motivation behind the "Period for free" initiative was the desire to offer students and employees at the university a more inclusive and fairer environment. Inspired by similar offers already available at smaller universities, the equal opportunities officer saw this as an opportunity to drive positive changes at her own university. Particularly motivated by personal commitment and the inadequate offerings of other parts of the university, it was decided to go our own way.

Planning and decision-making process

The decision to implement it was made after several unsuccessful attempts to obtain support from the presidium and the department. Instead, it was decided to implement the project independently using grants. The decision was future-oriented and independent, with intensive research leading to suitable partners, which ultimately resulted in the choice of Periodically as the supplier for the menstrual product dispensers.


Implementation was swift after securing funding through grants. Key locations for the installation of the dispensers were selected strategically, accompanied by a comprehensive internal and public communication campaign to promote awareness and acceptance of the project. The dispensers were installed in high-traffic locations to ensure optimal availability for users.

User acceptance and feedback

The response to the menstrual product dispensers was overwhelmingly positive. The measure was very well received by students and staff, which was reflected in a rapid expansion of the project to other departments. Some faculty members even financed additional dispensers from their own resources.

Impacts and improvements

The positive reception of the project led to institutional recognition and ultimately to the decision of the Executive Board to expand the project to the entire university. This illustrates how local initiatives can have a significant impact on the entire institution and shows the importance and effectiveness of menstrual hygiene initiatives.

Future prospects

The Equal Opportunities Officer sees the sustainable implementation of the menstrual product dispensers as a permanent part of the university's policy. Further expansions and initiatives are planned to help continuously improve menstrual hygiene and raise awareness of this important issue.

Concluding remarks

Ms. Eßmann-Stern, the Equal Opportunities Officer at the Free University of Berlin, recommends that other educational institutions consider similar projects to promote equality and menstrual hygiene. She underlines the need to provide such basic hygiene items free of charge, comparable to toilet paper and towels in public facilities.