Read Sascha Gabizon’s statement on why we need National Menstrual Health Strategies (WMG)

Yesterday evening, Sascha Gabizon – our executive director – delivered a statement on behalf of the Women’s Major Group at the United Nations Water Convention in its Plenary.  

Find the statement in full below and join us in encouraging governments to develop National Menstrual Health Strategies. 


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I speak on behalf of the Women’s Major Group, my name is Sascha Gabizon of Women Engage for a Common Future.

Millions of girls do not have safe sanitation at school and are forced to stay home and miss school during their period.

Millions of young girls and other menstruators suffer from menstrual-poverty, they have no access to affordable sanitation products.

Menstrual health and dignity should be at the centre of our Water and Sanitation policies, and we should do away with menstrual taboos and discrimination.

For example, we are outraged when we hear that Florida lawmakers try to ban girls from school just for speaking about their periods.

Governments must uphold the commitments they have made, in the Convention to End Discrimination Against all Women and Girlsand the UN General Assembly Resolution on the Human Right to Water and Sanitationand in Sustainable Development Goal target 6.2, that state women and girl’s needs for sanitation should be ensured. 

But only some 40 countries are reporting on menstrual health management in their reporting to JMP. 

Even fewer governments are working on promoting menstrual health products that are better for the environment and climate, that can be reused, without toxic chemicals

We the women and feminist organisations here at the UN Water Conference, are committing to keep on putting pressures on our governments to develop National Menstrual Health Strategies. 

We will continue to do so, toensure that each menstruator has:

  • Access to sanitation with safe spaces for menstruation in schools
  • including free of charge reusable menstrual products, access to clean water and soap, waste baskets and privacy 
  • Ensure that menstruators have access to a basket of choice of affordable menstrual products, including by a zero-VAT on reusable menstrual products.
  • Promote local production of a range of reusable menstrual health and hygiene products, including pads and cups, that create jobs and access in particular in rural areas
  • Ensure that comprehensive sexuality education covers dignified menstruation
  • Strengthen feminist menstrual movements in region, such as the Pacific Menstrual Health CoalitionThank you chair