Days for Girls at Penn State named student organization of the semester

March 24, 2021

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Days for Girls at Penn State was recently recognized as the Student Organization of the Fall 2020 Semester, an award presented by the Office of Student Activities.

Days for Girls at Penn State integrates sustainability and service within a welcoming and inclusive community. Days for Girls takes a stand against period poverty — the lack of access to menstrual products and essentials needed for period care — by sewing reusable menstrual health kits, organizing fundraisers and holding educational and awareness programs. 

The Days for Girls kit is a sustainable and cost-effective solution for menstruators experiencing period poverty. The kit lasts for five years and contains reusable liners, panty shields and personal care products. When someone lacking access to menstrual products receives a Days for Girls kit, they also receive 3-5 years of comfort and dignity to continue attending school or work during their monthly cycle. In addition to sewing kits, the Days for Girls club collaborates with other on-campus organizations to hold sewing events, leads campus discussions about global menstrual health issues, and advocates to end period poverty.

“Serving as the president of Days for Girls has given me a new perspective on service,” said Jessica Strait, current president of the student group. “By focusing on menstrual health and period poverty, our club can take meaningful action on the most stigmatized poverty affecting 500 million menstruators worldwide. Days for Girls has given me a group of forever friends united by a common goal, a path to impactful service, and the achievable mission to end period poverty that we empower each other to work towards.”

Days for Girls has actively worked with the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity at Penn State to ensure its language and efforts are inclusive to all menstruators on campus regardless of gender or sexual identity. In addition to the Center for Sexual and Gender Diversity, Days for Girls has worked alongside the Sustainability Institute in an effort to provide more sustainable menstrual products for students. 

During a general body meeting in the fall, Jill Wood, teaching professor of women's, gender, and sexuality studies at Penn State, led a conversation on the Menstrual Concealment Imperative. Through this meeting Wood educated Days for Girls members on the internalized perceptions of menstruation as a function of patriarchal medicine. Physician's assistant Lori Holencik spoke at this meeting on behalf of University Health Services to discuss the specifics about choosing the best birth-control option and how to navigate that process as a Penn State student.

Since Days for Girls initial mobilization in spring of 2019, its members have donated 120 menstrual health kits to a school for girls in Tanzania and have sewn over 200 kit components. During the Fall 2020 semester, Days for Girls organized a period product drive and launched its CampusCup program to provide free menstrual cups to Penn State students. The organization has also connected with Days for Girls International to provide menstrual cups to menstruators in Zimbabwe for up to 10 years of reliable, sustainable period care.

Last Updated April 15, 2021