Collaboration with Natracare in provision of menstrual health products in Ukraine to start

Written by Julie Ostapjukova

WECF is pleased to announce that, in yet another collaboration with Natracare, it will assist in the provision of menstrual health products to those impacted by Russian aggression, particularly those who lack income and/or access to these basic goods. The three main focus groups are menstruating people in conflict zones in eastern and southern parts of Ukraine; menstruating people displaced throughout the country, and menstruating people displaced within neighbouring countries, mainly Moldova and Romania. The term ‘menstruating people’ is used for inclusiveness purposes, as it refers to women, trans men, and nonbinary people altogether.

Menstrual Health in times of war

As an ecofeminist network organization with over 25 years of tangible socially just and sustainable solutions within the fields of climate, energy, water, and sanitation, WECF naturally places significant importance on the discussion surrounding menstrual health and, even more so, on menstrual health management (MHM) in times of war. Given the fact that a third of the country has been subjected to a series of indiscriminate shelling and airstrikes, the issue of unsanitary conditions and a lack of menstrual products has been highly pressing. The war in Ukraine, as well as other conflict zones, is a prime example of how disproportionately impacted menstruating people are. Such inequity requires global health security strategies to be more gender-responsive, which is why, while calling for increased emergency programming around MHM, WECF will engage in a range of humanitarian activities in partnership with Natracare over the course of three years, starting this fall. 

Dry Urinoirs for shelters

In particular, funding will be used towards specific sanitary solutions, such as menstrual hygiene products as well as improved emergency latrines in the form of dry female urinoirs that will be distributed to both the front lines and the shelters as part of medical aid kits. Similarly, refugee centers in neighbouring countries will be given the tools necessary to provide those fleeing conflict with gender-responsive support. Some of our local partners that will be responsible for the redistribution of information as well as the humanitarian material itself are Ecoclub Rivne, the Black Sea Women’s Club (BSWC) in Odessa and EnergoEngineering (ESCO) in Dnipro, with the last two under the supervision of Svitlana Slesarenok and Kateryna Shyshka, respectively, about whom you can read more in WECF’s #HerStoryofChange section. The geographical locations and corresponding connections of our partners will allow for a thorough allocation of MHM solutions in a gender-responsive way.