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Jan 23, 2023
On Thursday, January 12, 2023, the student group, SUPPORT FOR SISTERS, which aims to solve problems related to women’s menstruation, installed the first “Menstruation Stations” in APU campus bathrooms. These Menstruation Stations are equipped with an assortment of menstrual products and any individuals who use the bathrooms may use them free of charge.
In recent years, the issue of period poverty has come to light, and conversations about menstruation, once considered taboo, have gradually become public. SUPPORT FOR SISTERS is a Project B initiative that aims to relieve women of the difficulties menstruation can cause and the group welcomes anyone regardless of gender to help promote understanding.
For their first initiative, the group set up Mensturation Stations around bathrooms on campus. Its core members are KARINA Viella Darminto (College of Asia Pacific Studies, Indonesia)、CHAIKWANG Rinlapas (College of Asia Pacific Studies, Thailand)、Bumpenwattana Pirada (College of Asia Pacific Studies, Thailand).Two of them said that while studying in Canada, they found it reassuring to find sanitary products easily and free of charge on campus. After returning to Japan, they questioned the lack of similar preparations in Japan and wanted to tackle this problem at APU. Their leader, KARINA, pointed out, “Until now, there have been limited places to buy sanitary products on this wide campus. It’s hard to deal with emergency situations, and there is a risk that they can affect your studies. In addition, especially for international students, it is not easy to cover the cost of living abroad, and there are times when people can’t buy sanitary products due to economic reasons.” Menstruation Stations are not limited to the women’s restroom but can be found in multipurpose bathrooms as well. The stations include 3 types of menstruation products, even those which are not as common in Japan, so that each individual may find what is comfortable for them. The members handcrafted these stations from eco-friendly cardboard and gave them a compact design so that they can be quickly moved in the event of a disaster. The group hopes that these stations will free as many students as possible from the discomfort of menstruation and allow them to concentrate on their studies.
Currently, SUPPORT FOR SISTERS consists of 20 students from 7 different countries and regions and includes male members. In order to promote understanding of menstruation to society as a whole, in the future they plan to hold more events and conduct questionnaires.