A woman died in the August floods in the far western region of Nepal this year – simply because she was menstruating. It may sound archaic and unreal but these kinds of incidents are not uncommon in mid and far west Nepal. Unfortunately, I have no reference for this piece of information. After hearing about it in the local radio news, I looked everywhere on the net and newspapers to see if anyone else reported the same. There was nothing. So did it not happen? Was it not worth making then news? Or is it just an example of how women are valued in the far western villages of Nepal?
According to the radio, the woman had been banished out of her house to the cow-sheds because she was menstruating, as part of an age old social tradition called ‘Chhaupadi Pratha’, while her entire family was well-sheltered at home. Chhuapadi Pratha is still widely practiced in the far-western region of Nepal where women are banished from their homes to the sheds during their monthly periods or childbirth. The sheds that women are made to live in, for 4-5 days during their regular menstruation and 11-15 days during childbirth, are made of mud, straw and grass. They are highly unhygienic, unventilated, unsafe, cold, dark and uncomfortable as they are hardly large enough to fit a grown adult. Menstruating women are considered untouchables and impure during this time."
Read article by Aditi Sharma from Girls' Globe.