Students & Campus
02 December 2021

Free sanitary product dispenser at the Institute

The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies now provides free organic cotton pads and tampons for its students in financial difficulty.

This is one more step in the fight against menstrual precariousness but also for gender equality. This free hygienic product dispenser (dispensing organic pads and tampons) will be available in one of the women's restrooms at the Maison de la paix.

This pilot project is the result of a collaboration between the Graduate Institute Student Association (GISA) (which was at the origin of the proposal), the Gender, Diversity and Inclusion Initiative, and the Institute’s Executive Direction, which covers all costs related to the project. 

The project will be evaluated after one year to review its future potential. 

GISA President Aishwarya Tendolkar believes that “these sanitary products are basic necessities and should ideally be free in all public spaces. This pilot project is a step towards ensuring menstruating individuals feel safe and included in the community. It is a step towards making the Institute more inclusive and accessible." 

A survey conducted by RTS in February 2020 estimated the costs related to a woman’s period during her menstruating lifetime are around CHF 4,500. A large number of women around the world have little or no access to menstrual protection. This represents an invisible factor of inequality and precariousness with important consequences for women.

We ask that everyone exercise their sense of responsibility and solidarity in order to ensure that this initiative benefits those who need it most.