As the Amsterdam Robotics Team, we are committed to finding solutions to real-world social problems, and together with our partner Woman in STEM we have identified menstrual poverty as one such issue that needs addressing.
Menstrual poverty refers to the lack of access to menstrual products due to financial constraints, which can result in women and girls struggling to attend school or work during their periods. “In Amsterdam over the last year, 27% of people who menstruate have been unable to afford to pay for period products at some point. 38% say they have managed to pay but found it difficult to do so.”
To address this issue, we are building a machine that will dispense free menstrual products on campus. We recognize that this is not a problem that can be solved by technology alone, which is why we are working with several organizations, including Women in Stem, FSRbeta, USR, and VUSR, to make period products more accessible.
We believe that this project will have a significant impact on the lives of many individuals on campus who struggle with menstrual poverty. By providing access to free menstrual products, we hope to reduce the stigma around periods and ensure that everyone can attend school and work without fear of being unable to manage their periods.
We are excited to be working on this project and look forward to making a real difference in our VU community. Stay tuned for updates on our progress!
 “Amsterdam Menstruates Quantitative Research on Period Poverty in Amsterdam,” Neighborhood Feminists, Amsterdam, Netherlands, Oct. 2022.