Menstrual health in times of war in Ukraine – a partnership with Natracare

WECF has worked with local partners in Ukraine for 25+ years, focusing on gender equality and sustainable solutions in climate, energy, water, and sanitation. We’ve supported the sustainable energy transition, job creation, and advocated for democratization and human rights.

The ongoing Russian aggression in Ukraine highlights gendered challenges, with women serving as first responders and facing disproportionate burdens such as unpaid work, lack of income, and limited access to goods and aid due to displacement and hostilities.

The war has resulted in diverse humanitarian needs, particularly affecting vulnerable groups such as ethnic minorities, people with disabilities, and women in rural areas and war zones. While fundraising efforts have been strong, there’s a pressing need to ensure efficient allocation of funds to reach local communities and minimize the burden on affected populations and responders.

Amidst the ongoing conflict in Ukraine, various humanitarian initiatives have emerged, aiming to support vulnerable populations affected by the ongoing war. Three collaborative projects, led by organizations such as Marsh Zhinok (Women’s March Ukraine), Brave Ukraine, and WECF, demonstrate a collective effort to address critical needs faced by women and girls in the region. From providing essential menstrual health products to supporting female defenders on the front lines, these initiatives embody a commitment to solidarity, empowerment, and resilience. In the following summaries, we will go more into the details of these projects, highlighting their significance in alleviating hardships and fostering hope in Ukraine’s time of adversity.

MHM in times of war

WECF, thanks to financial support from Natracare, provides menstrual health products to individuals affected by Russian aggression, particularly those lacking income or access to basic goods. The initiative targets people in conflict zones in eastern and southern Ukraine, displaced individuals within the country, and those in neighbouring countries like Moldova and Romania.

Given its ecofeminist ethos and extensive experience in socially just and sustainable solutions, WECF prioritizes menstrual health management (MHM) in times of war. The ongoing conflict in Ukraine highlights the urgent need for sanitary conditions and menstrual products. WECF advocates for gender-responsive global health security strategies and commits to humanitarian activities in partnership with Natracare over three years.

Funding supports the provision of menstrual hygiene products and improved emergency latrines, including dry female urinals, distributed to front lines and shelters as part of medical aid kits. Refugee centers in neighboring countries will also receive gender-responsive support. Local partners such as Ecoclub Rivne, the Black Sea Women’s Club (BSWC) in Odesa, and EnergoEngineering (ESCO) in Dnipro will assist in information dissemination and distribution, ensuring a gender-responsive allocation of MHM solutions.