The University of West Bohemia is introducing menstrual emergency service

Ethics Students University

The Feminist University Circle (FUK) has decided to combat menstrual poverty. The activity of its members found support from the management of the Faculty of Applied Sciences and the Faculty of Philosophy, the leadership of the University of West Bohemia wants to expand it.
The Faculty of Applied Sciences and the Faculty of Philosophy are introducing what is known as menstrual emergency service as the first components of the University of West Bohemia (UWB). Thanks to the activity of the Feminist University Circle (FUK) and its support, starting this semester, chlorine-free, unbleached, unscented, organic pads and tampons of various sizes or moistened wipes will be available in selected women's restrooms marked with a sticker featuring a white drop in a red circle.

"I can hardly describe my joy," says Lenka Lejčková, one of the initiators of the novelty for FUK and a student of the Faculty of Law. "After a year of circulating offices at the rectorate, creating documents, writing letters and emails, creating an information campaign, and many other small steps, I can't believe that last week I finally saw menstrual products in the restrooms of the Faculty of Applied Sciences with my own eyes," she adds.

Jitka Paitlová from the Department of Philosophy at the Faculty of Philosophy, who co-founded FUK two years ago, adds that the issue of menstrual poverty was first addressed last year at a panel discussion organized by the circle for International Women's Day. "Last March, we started negotiations with the new management of UWB, and eventually we managed to agree that menstrual emergency service would be introduced first at one technical and one humanities faculty," describes Jitka Paitlová.

The Faculty of Philosophy is soon to follow the Faculty of Applied Sciences, where baskets with hygiene products will also appear in the most prominent restrooms. "I am incredibly grateful to both deans for not being afraid to join us in this. I know that the process itself took a lot of work and effort, and I am very glad that creating a safer and more inclusive environment at UWB is not a matter of indifference to them," adds Lenka Lejčková.

In addition to the mentioned faculties, the entire management of UWB supports menstrual emergency service . "During this semester, it will operate on a pilot basis, and in both cases, its financing and implementation will be ensured by the faculties. Then its progress will be evaluated, and if the results do not hinder it, we would like to establish its functioning at the university level. It would be natural to proceed similarly to the acquisition of other hygiene products; replenishment would take place as part of routine cleaning. Once the pilot operation is over, we will also be able to better estimate the necessary costs," says Jiří Kohout, Vice-Rector for Educational Planning and Student Affairs.

UWB Ombudsman Petr Šimon agrees with the gradual expansion: "I certainly support activities related to menstrual emergency service, actually, I don't understand why this topic arouses such controversy in our society. I am glad that the first faculties of UWB have signed up for this topic, and I hope that there will be more of them in time."

At the same time, the ombudsman would like to address topics such as menstrual leave at UWB, which will be introduced, for example, by the University of Montpellier in France from September. A ten-day leave will accommodate students with painful menstruation.

In conclusion, Jitka Paitlová points out that male members of FUK have been involved in the menstrual emergency service project from the very beginning and summarizes: "I am convinced that this seemingly small change, completely unrecognizable from the perspective of non-menstruating individuals, will significantly increase the quality of the university environment and the level of safe space for all future generations of students and employees at UWB."




21. 03. 2024