An ancient Hindu tradition banishes women to an outhouse when they are having their periods. Some women in Nepal are fighting against the practice, known as chhaupadi. The practice was technically banned in 2005, but it still goes on.
A BBC Nepali reporter told her story about being forced into this sexist, ridiculous tradition. Krishnamaya Upadhayaya, 24, said she started menstruating at age 12. Her mother, sisters, and sisters-in-law were all forced to stay in a hut during their periods.
When she moved to go to college, she had trouble finding a room to rent because of her periods. Women are forced to live on the ground floor in apartment buildings and are banished outside during that time of the month.
On November 18, a 26-year-old Nepali woman, Dambara Upadhyay, died in one of these huts. The cause of death is not clear. The hut was locked from the inside, so it wasn’t foul play.
Here are some facts about period taboos:
- In many world religions, women are seen as impure during their period.
- They are restricted from entering places of worship and following religious rites.
- The chhaupadi tradition followed by Hindus in western Nepal is the most extreme version where women are banished outside during their monthly cycle.
- In India, women are not allowed enter some Hindu temples and Muslim mosques while menstruating but there have been court cases to overturn this.
- In southern India, a girl reaching puberty is celebrated with a party and presents.
- In the Dogon tribe in Mali, women of the village also live in a hut during their period.
This is a ridiculously misogynistic practice that needs to stop. Menstruation is a natural bodily process.
Featured image via Twitter.