A motion has passed to subsidise the purchase of Mooncups by members of Hertford JCR.
The motion stated, “Re-usable menstrual cups, such as the Mooncup, are better for the environment, pose fewer health risks and are cheaper for their users in the long run than tampons and pads.” It went on to note that JCR members might be put off from buying them due to their initial high fixed-cost, and that, “Subsidising the cost of menstrual cups would be a sustainable way for the JCR to support its female members and encourage members to consider the environmental consequences of other sanitary products.”
Ayla Ansari, who proposed the motion, said, “I proposed the motion in order to get people using Mooncups because I know that many people haven’t heard of them or might think they’re just a bit gross and excessively hippy but this really isn’t true.
They’re far, far more environmentally friendly – the average woman uses 11,000 pads or tampons in her lifetime which all go to landfill or are incinerated. One menstrual cup, on the other hand, can last for 10 years.”
She added, “Talking about menstruation shouldn’t be considered a social taboo, especially when at the same time women are expected to shell out money every month which does add up and there is no equivalent necessary expenditure for men which women do not buy.”
Kate Guariento, a member of the Hertford Feminists group, seconded the motion, and she explained why she had chosen to do so. She told Cherwell, “I decided to second the Mooncup motion because I think that more women should be encouraged to opt for sanitary products that are less harmful not only to the environment, but also to their bodies. We hoped that a JCR subsidy would encourage people who might otherwise be put off by the expensive upfront cost – about £20, though it’s far cheaper in the long run!”
However, the motion was not passed without controversy. Having originally requested full subsidy for any Mooncups bought within the JCR, it was eventually passed in an amended form which stated that members would be subsidised half the cost of any Mooncups bought, with an annual cap of £500 on JCR money spent on Mooncups.
Arguments raised against the motion included the point that if Mooncups were such good value for money, they should not have to be subsidised. Another concern was that JCR members may purchase Mooncups to try them out, then stop using them, thus wasting JCR money.
However, Josh Platt, Hertford JCR President, was pleased that the motion eventually passed. He said, “The motion to subsidise Mooncups was brought forward as a way for the JCR to show it support towards our female members and towards the environment.
“Originally, the proposers of the motion asked for a full reimbursement, but after a healthy debate in our meeting, everyone was agreed that a 50% subsidy, capped at a total cost of £500 for the year, was the fairest way to settle things. I’m glad that the JCR is now able to help women with the costs of purchasing a Mooncup and I am sure that the cap of £500 will not stop anyone who wants to take up this offer from doing so. I know that other JCRs have already passed motions to a similar effect, and I hope that many more will continue to champion green policies in any way that they see fit.”
The Mooncup, a silicone menstrual cup which can be used as an alternative to tampons and sanitary towels, is reusable and retails at between £15 to £20.