Aunt Flow is a company that started in 2016 that supplies free feminine products in bathrooms.
It was started by Claire Coder, who on their website described, “At 18 years old, I dedicated my life to developing a solution to ensure businesses and schools could sustainably provide quality period products, for free, in bathrooms.”  Ivy Lu, ASWWU head of diversity and wellness, emphasized the importance of implementing the Aunt Flow Project at Walla Walla University and how we can better provide support for women’s health.
Lu stated, “We wanted to have the Aunt Flow Project to … support our girls and [provide] mental support. We wanted to let them know, ‘Hey, we have these resources for you. Even if you just got your period and you don’t have those products with you.’ We’re providing that mental support by providing the physical products for them.”
Awareness is a key factor in helping women know there are products in bathrooms.
Anyone who visits the campus can benefit from knowing where these products are. There are Aunt Flow dispensers on campus in almost all the buildings. If an emergency happens, students should be able to find the products that they need.
The project is only about a year and a half old. Lu wants the Aunt Flow Project to continue developing and continue spreading awareness and understanding for women.
She said, “We want to continue, we want to make it a tradition because the support is sustainable. And the impact is sustainable so we should just continue doing it. Yeah, set a budget aside every year to have that.”
Lu recognized that women don’t need to feel shame about having their period or shame about who they are. Rather, we all need to understand that when problems do arise for women, WWU cares about those problems and will provide resources to help. Lu mentioned how it’s not right to only recognize women’s needs during a single month. She knows it’s a constant challenge to address. What helps to address this challenge is support.
She said, “everybody has that strength to support each other.” 
One way the Aunt Flow Project is beneficial is in addressing the problem of a pink tax, as products in Aunt Flow are free for anyone to use. For understanding, “Gender-based price disparities are known as pink taxes.”  Feingold, the author of World Economic Forum, wrote, “In the United States, one government study analyzed 800 gender-specific products from nearly 100 brands. The report found that, on average, personal care products targeted to women were 13% more expensive than similar men’s products.” 
Thus, having personal products such as tampons and pads provided in bathrooms for free eliminates the question of cost for women and immediately provides them with the potential resources that they will need.
Additionally, Lu is hopeful more projects like these will develop in the future. She said, “And one day, maybe after our students graduate, they [will] want to do something with the community they move to as well with these kinds of similar projects.” 
1. Aunt Flow. (2023). Our Story. Aunt Flow. https://goauntflow.com/our-story/
2. Interview with Ivy Lu, 02/24/23.
3. Feingold, S. (2022). What is the ‘pink tax’ and how does it hinder women? Weforum. https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2022/07/what-is-the-pink-tax-and-how-does-it-hinder-women/
5. Interview with Ivy Lu, 02/24/23.
1. Products of Aunt Flow. Lots of small packets containing 100% organic cotton pads provided by Aunt Flow. https://unsplash.com/photos/DxG_Q3oiTr8