UNFPA raises the bar for quality menstrual products

25 May 2022

© UNFPA Angola/K. Karlos Cesar

More than half of all people who have been displaced due to conflict or natural disaster menstruate at some point in their life. When their lives are uprooted and they live in uncertainty, they require access to menstrual products that reflect their preferences to access humanitarian services, work or school, and to participate in daily life. 

In an effort to increase the quality and variety of menstrual products offered by humanitarian actors, UNFPA led and developed the quality specifications for menstrual products with support from UNICEF and UNHCR on behalf of the Menstrual Hygiene Management in Emergencies (MHMiE) working group. Between 2020 and 2021, specifications for disposable menstrual pads, reusable menstrual pads, and menstrual cups were established. In 2021 and 2022, UNFPA and UNICEF deployed their extensive quality assurance and supply chain management expertise to develop the most recent global quality specification for tampons.

With the introduction of these quality specifications, women and girls in humanitarian settings will be able to access a variety of quality-assured menstrual products. In addition, members of the MHMiE WG, including the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement and INGOs are committed to mainstreaming this standard across the humanitarian sector. 

We foresee that through the combined buying power of the humanitarian sector and the active efforts to set common specifications for menstrual products, UNFPA, and its partners are shaping the market for menstrual products and increasing the overall quality of products for women, girls, and people who menstruate across the globe. 

UNFPA, UNICEF, UNHCR, and the MHMiE WG are proud to share the global quality specification for tampons and other menstrual products. 

Read and download the Technical Specifications for:


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