What we do

Menstruation is a natural process that occurs every month for (at least) half of the world’s population during certain periods of their lives. And although it is so common, it is still a taboo topic in most parts of the world, resulting in inadequate conditions and lack of systemic support for those who menstruate.

The taboo associated with menstruation leads to a social phenomenon known as period poverty, meaning that millions of menstruators are subjected to injustice and inequity due to insufficient access to menstrual products, education, and sanitation facilities.

Furthermore, it results in lack of proper information and perpetuates the lack of accessibility to safe (toxic-free), fair (tax-free) and circular (reusable) products that menstruators need. Nowadays, the vast majority of menstrual products being sold on the European market (and globally) are single-use products: including pads, liners and tampons.

This type of products has environmental, economic, health and social impacts from production to disposal and beyond. Even though better alternatives, such as reusable products (i.e: period pants and cups) as well as toxic-free and plastic-free products have existed for decades, the population that knows about them or uses them regularly is still the minority due to many obstacles.

Focus areas

The MENSY project is designed to increase the capacity of us (WECF) and our partner organisations – working in the feminist and/or environmental field – for work in the field of youth, with the aim to create a cohesive suite of training resources on menstruation and sustainability, incorporating elements found to be the most effective in existing programmes, and scaled up for use on an European level and beyond.

Through the MENSY project, partner organisations will engage at least 160 youth leaders interested in combining environmental, economic and gender justice approaches in menstrual education by piloting the training program “Menstruation: Empowerment and Sustainability” as well as evaluating it before its finalization.
We expect at least 80 youth leaders from 8 European countries to be committed to doing trainings for the youth they work with within one year of completing the pilot.
Apart from that, the project and its results will be used for advocacy purposes on local, regional, national, European and global level, as well as raising awareness about period poverty and period taboo, as well as the environmental, health and societal impacts of single-use plastic based menstrual products and its aggressive misogynistic marketing perpetuating the stigma.
We will be combating menstrual poverty by breaking the taboo and empowering menstruators using gender justice approach.

 

The MENSY project has two main focus areas:

  1. The goal is to develop training resources on menstruation and sustainability aimed at youth ambassadors.
  2. The goal is to use our knowledge and results from the research for advocacy purposes regarding sustainable menstruation.

Countries

Ireland, Croatia, Spain, UK, Hungary, Portugal, the Netherlands, Ukraine

Partners

VOICE (Ireland): project coordinators; Zelena akcija / Friends of the Earth (Croatia); REZERO (Spain); WEN (UK); Greenzone (Hungary); ZERO (Portugal); WECF International (the Netherlands); Zero Waste Lviv (Ukraine)

Donors

The project is financed from the ERASMUS plus program (Programme Erasmus+ Action Type KA220-ADU - Cooperation partnerships in the field of youth) under the leadership of Leargas, the Irish national agency. The views expressed in this project and project activities are the sole responsibility of Zelena akcija / FoE Croatia and project partners and do not necessarily reflect the views of the European Union.