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Sanitation and Menstrual Health – UN Water Conference

24 March 2023 @ 15:30 - 16:45 EDT

This side event will share good practices from Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Eastern Europe and Latin America on advancing the rights to safe and sustainable school sanitation and in particular menstrual health (SDG6.2.).   The side event is co-organised by the Government of the Republic of North-Macedonia with Women and Youth organisations, Social Enterprises, Academia, Water Engineering and Sustainable Development organisations.  

High-level speakers as well as youth and women’s representatives, will share their priorities and good-practice examples. We will hear from the young Latin American that won the Stockholm Water Week award for their amazing work on ending menstrual poverty, as well as from the North-Macedonian groups that are producing sustainable menstrual products and the Government of North-Macedonia that has reduced value added tax from 18% to 5%. The Pacific-Alliance will present its menstrual health campaign and Women Environmental Programme its work on safe sanitation for displaced persons. Jointly they will suggest innovative and interesting actions that can be taken forward as part of water actions in other regions. 

The event will allow to present the proposed commitments to the Water Action Decade by the co-organisers. The event will launch a call for national menstrual health action plans, culminating in a global MH action plan as part of SDG6 implementation. 


Ministry of the labour and social policy,
Republic of North Macedonia 


WECF e.V. – Women Engage for a Common Future, Germany, Ms Annemarie Mohr
Journalists for Human Rights, North Macedonia, Natasha Dokovska
Women Environmental Programme, Nigeria Dr Priscilla Achakpa
Redes del agua Latin America, Mexcio Nathalie Seguin
Milieukontakt, Valbona Mazreku, Albania
DIVA for Equality, Viva Tatawaqa, Fiji
Armenian Women for Health and a Healthy Environment, Emma Akashnakan Armenia
WEN, Helen Lynn, UK
ONGAWA – Ingeniería para el Desarrollo Humano, Spain, Mar Rivero


Opening (5 min)

  • Moderator: Dr. Priscilla Achakpa, WEP Nigeria
    Welcoming words and introduction to the topic and programme
    (If you do not consent to your photo or video being taken, please do inform Rebecca Heuvelmans)

Welcome by host (5 min)

  • Ms. Jovana Trenchevska, Minister of Labor and Social Policy North Macedonia (video 2 min)
  • Ms. Sascha Gabizon, Executive Director Women ENgage for a Common Future (2 min)

Panelists: Menstrual health good practices in an interactive session (35 min)

  • Natasha Dokovska, JHR North Macedonia
    Sharing lessons learnt and good practices from producing sustainable menstrual health products for schools pupils in the Western Balkan region
  • Bharti Kannan, Boondh, India
    Local communities producing affordable and environmentally sustainable menstrual health products in India: lessons and practices 
  • Viva Tatawaqa, DIVA, Fiji
    The Pacific Menstrual Health Alliance joining forces across the region 
  • Mar Rivero, ONGAWA, Spain
    Strategically overcoming barriers to the implementation of menstrual health projects in rural areas from a human right approach 
  • Monica Olvera NGO Cántaro Azul in Mexico

  • Professor Marni Sommer, Professor of Sociomedical Sciences and Menstrual Health & Gender Justice Working Group Member, Center for the Study of Social Difference
    Menstrual Health national strategies and indicators
  • Carla Liera, Swedish Environment Institute, Sweden
    Menstrual hygiene products in the circular economy
  • Helen Lynn, Women Environmental Network, UK (online)
    Promoting toxic free menstrual health products that protect the climate and environment, join the Enviromenstrual Weeks

Questions and discussion (with respondents) (25 min)



  • From the good practices we heard, which opportunities do you see for replication?
  • How can we get all governments here at the water conference to commit to menstrual health action plans and to create policies and investment plans?



  • Gerdien Seegers, Plan International
    Input from a previous event they held, to discuss commitments on Menstrual Hygiene (PLAN)

Conclusions and closing (5 min)
Priscilla Achakpa


24 March 2023
15:30 - 16:45


Ministry of the labour and social policy, Republic of North Macedonia 


UN Headquarters Room 8

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