Increasing awareness of menstrual waste and inclusion of vulnerable groups of women through the production of reusable menstrual pads in RN Macedonia Budget mama"
Increasing awareness of menstrual waste and inclusion of vulnerable groups of women through the production of reusable menstrual pads in RN Macedonia Budget mama"
The research conducted by Human Rights Journalists in 2017, which was repeated in March-May 2020, shows that citizens face a phenomenon that negatively affects everyone equally. Namely, in Northern Macedonia we have a problem with improper management of women's menstrual health, and thus a direct threat to women's health and the environment.
The results of the research show that menstrual health management (MHM) is at a very low level, which is reflected in the data that 90% of students in rural areas in Macedonia are absent from school for 4 to 5 days during the month when they have a monthly cycle, while 75% of female students in urban areas are absent for 2 to 3 days during the month. The reason for this is: inadequate conditions for managing menstrual hygiene at school/workplace and the high price of menstrual protection products.
On the other hand, between 6-6.5 million pieces of menstrual waste containing plastic that is decomposed over a period of 500 years, are thrown away every month. The problem with waste is that it is treated as urban waste, it can be found everywhere, especially in places where urban waste is dumped, on picnic areas, beaches and in sewers.
The problems faced by citizens are:
- Insufficient availability of funds for management of menstrual health products due to the high cost of products, which affects the occurrence of menstrual poverty
- Inadequate infrastructure for menstrual health management, which affects the increased percentage of infections in women
- Inadequate treatment of menstrual waste, which affects the pollution of the environment
- lack of alternatives for menstrual health management, which affects the deepening of poverty, increase in infections and increase in the volume of waste that without proper treatment makes more pollution.
If it is known that disposable products containing plastic, including menstrual hygiene products (pads and tampons) in the EU are banned from July 2021 according to EU Directive 2019/904, the question arises what are the alternatives and what should be done for to join that trend so all of us together can contribute to the reduction of environmental pollution, and on the other hand to ensure that every woman can have access to menstrual hygiene products and safely manage their own health.
Among marginalized groups of women, the situation is further aggravated by the lack of sufficient finances for proper menstrual hygiene management due to the high cost of these products which are still considered luxury goods, and alternatives either do not exist or are harmful to their health (self-made pads from paper, rags) ...
Lack of new solutions and alternatives affects the increase of waste, deepening poverty, insufficient opportunities for self-employment among marginalized groups of women…
With the implementation of the project, we will directly affect:
1. reduction of (menstrual) poverty in North Macedonia on two levels - the products will become more accessible by acquiring skills of women themselves to produce environmentally safe menstrual hygiene products and will open opportunities for a group of women to form social enterprises for the production of pads through acquired skills.

1. Reduction of waste from menstrual hygiene products by 80% ... using the reusable pads, this waste will be reduced by an average of 80% for each woman who uses them, as the reusable pads can be used for at least one year with continuous maintenance.
2. Raising awareness of this problem, and only by raising awareness will the SDGs be achieved, and this goal is sectoral related and is located in several goals and sub-goals.
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Project Snapshot

Novinari za Covekovi prava
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 30,790.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 24,720.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
US$ 1,450.00
Project Number:
Currently under execution

SGP Country office contact

Mr. Zlatko Samardziev
Ms Melita Ivanova


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