Feminine hygiene is widely considered a taboo topic in many parts of the world. In areas where limited water supply, poor sanitation habits, and no trash service are issues, the problem of women having no feminine hygiene products is often overlooked.
With no way of coping with their periods each month, women are often forced to miss school and work to stay within their rooms and wait until their period is finished. With no pads available, in place, women have tried using things from cornhusks to mud paste, which does not work and can easily lead to infections. These ineffective methods of dealing with periods have lead to the creation of Days for Girls. This organization is a nonprofit, registered charity committed to giving what all women deserve: sanitary feminine hygiene products.
Days for Girls is a far-reaching organization, having distributed feminine hygiene kits to over 76 nations on 6 continents. Since Days for Girls began in 2008, they have helped to create over 100,000 kits consisting of 8 washable pads, 2 liners, a washcloth, 1 pair of underwear, a travel-sized bar of soap, and a drawstring bag to carry it all in. Each kit comes with a detailed instruction sheet, informing women how to use and maintain their pads. The items in the kits are hand-sewn by volunteers, valued at around $10, and typically last a girl for up to three years. Once made, humanitarian groups distribute them around the world.
One of the important aspects of the kits provided by Days for Girls is that the pads are reused each month. Purchasing disposable pads each month is not a feasible option for most girls. As well, for most women, the luxury of trashing a disposable pad after a single use is not possible due to limited garbage service in these communities. By washing their pads after each use, women are able to discreetly manage their periods without trying to dispose of used hygiene products.
In areas where periods are taboo subjects, discretion is key. Days for Girls hopes to change this negative stigma regarding feminine hygiene by delivering educational seminars on the topics of feminine hygiene, reproduction, and basic health. Education, safety, and dignity, is priority to Days for Girls. Women in poor communities are also taught to make the kits for themselves. When their pads wear out and become unusable, they will be able to make similar kits again, allowing the chain of unsanitary feminine hygiene to be broken. Days for Girls recognizes that knowledge is power, and by providing women with the education to take care of their feminine needs, they are giving them the opportunity to continue on with their regular routines while on their periods.