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Equal Opportunity

Study and menstruation

Are you forced to interrupt your study or work day just because you don't have a tampon or pad handy? Many women and menstruating women have probably experienced this. At H-BRS, this is now a thing of the past, as the Equal Opportunity Office is testing the offer of free menstrual products in selected restrooms as part of the "Once in a month" pilot project.

Das Angebot wird in Zukunft verstetigt und nach und nach auch auf den Standort Rheinbach ausgeweitet. Damit kommt die Hochschule einer ihrer Selbstverpflichtungen im Rahmen des Audits „familiengerechte Hochschule“ aus dem Jahr 2022 nach.

Sanitary rooms with tampon and sanitary pad dispensers

Tampon and pad dispensers are located at the Sankt Augustin campus in the following restrooms:

A012 (across from the cafeteria), A153
B026, B140
buildings C, H
E018 (next to the "Druckpunkt"), E253, E315
F416 (Graduate Institute/ZWT/StartUp-Manufaktur)

Tampon and pad dispensers are located at the Rheinbach Campus in the following restrooms:

Buildings E, F, G, H, I212

Gender equality can mean meeting different needs. Taking into account the basic physical needs of menstruating persons is therefore a concern of the Equality Office.

Gleichstellungsstelle Tampons

While in some countries the provision of tampons and pads in educational institutions is required by law - along with soap and toilet paper - in Germany such measures are voluntary. This puts menstruating people at a disadvantage at colleges and universities, because in order to satisfy a basic need, they have to interrupt their daily study and work routine more frequently than non-menstruating people. This is especially the case when they cannot help themselves in an "emergency" and either have to expose themselves to fellow students or colleagues or, in the worst case, even have to go home.

Gleichstellungsstelle Binden

In the winter semester 2021/22, tampon and sanitary pad dispensers will be available in five restrooms, initially on the Sankt Augustin campus.
By the end of September 2021, the Equal Opportunity Office surveyed students and employees on the acceptance of the measure and usage behavior. The survey, in which around 1,000 people took part, serves as a scientific review of the topic as well as a basis for future decisions. The results will be published in a scientific article. The H-BRS is the first university in Germany to collect data on the acceptance of free menstrual articles at universities in this way.

Results of the study

The Equality Office of the H-BRS has presented the first study in Germany on the implementation, acceptance and relevance of free menstrual products. For this purpose, the answers of almost 1,000 people were evaluated quantitatively and partly qualitatively: only 5% of the respondents (m/f/d) rejected the measure. We were able to demonstrate that an institution that provides free menstrual items is perceived as more attractive as a potential employer or educational institution. In addition, 24% of menstruating respondents reported that they had ever interrupted their stay at the university against their will. This was accompanied by increased stress due to the lack of menstrual items, which had a negative impact on the learning and working atmosphere. By providing them, institutions thus actively contribute to counteracting a structural disadvantage of girls and young women.

Do you have questions?

We are happy to enter into dialogue with researchers or those responsible for cities, municipalities as well as educational institutions etc. on the topic of equal opportunities through free menstrual products.

Do you have questions?

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Barbara Hillen

Central Equal Opportunity Officer, Scientific staff member


Sankt Augustin




Grantham-Allee 20

53757, Sankt Augustin