Why is toilet paper freely available, but tampons and sanitary towels are not?
Okay, let's be honest. Toilet paper seems to magically always be available when you need it. But why doesn't this apply to tampons and sanitary towels?
A common argument we often hear is costs. But, is offering free menstrual products really that expensive?
Let's grab the calculator:
In 2020, Nibud calculated that working from home costs us around 2 euros per day. It contains a very small piece of 0.025 euro cents for toilet paper. So, do the math, that is about 6.50 euros per year per person, if you assume a full-time job with 260 working days.
What if we look at tampons and sanitary towels? If you want to offer these products for free to your colleagues and guests in the toilet, it is estimated that it will cost around 5 euros per year for each colleague, we see from our customers. If about half of the colleagues menstruate, this amounts to about 2.50 euros per person per year.
So, let's recap: Offering free tampons and pads could actually be cheaper than providing toilet paper. Of course, both of those things are super important, but it does raise a question: why is it so obvious that toilet paper is always there, while tampons and sanitary towels are not?
The answer is not just about money, but also about deep-rooted social, cultural and gender-related things. There is still a taboo against talking about menstruation, even in modern times. This may make us hesitant to make tampons and sanitary towels openly available.
But fortunately, more and more people understand that menstruation is normal and that everyone should have easy access to tampons and sanitary towels. More and more companies, schools and public places ensure that you can get those things for free when you need them. This is not just about money, but also about feeling like you belong.
If we can make toilet paper available as a matter of course, why not do the same with tampons and sanitary towels? Let's strive for a world where everyone can access these things without hassle, no matter who you are. Because menstruation is part of it, and it's high time we fully embrace it.