Nepal’s parliament Wednesday made an ancient practice that banishes women from the home during menstruation as a ‘criminal offence’.
Many communities in Nepal view menstruating women as impure and in some remote areas they are forced to sleep in a hut away from home during their periods, a custom known as chhaupadi.
Nepal Supreme Court had banned the practice more than a decade ago but it is still followed in parts of Nepal, particularly in remote western districts.
The new law stipulates a three-month jail sentence or a 3,000 Nepali rupee fine or both, for anyone forcing a woman to follow the custom. The law was passed through unanimous voting. It will come into effect in a year’s time.
Chhaupadi is linked to Hinduism in the country and considers women untouchable when they menstruate, as well as after childbirth. They are banished from the home – barred from touching food, religious icons, cattle and men – and forced to sleep in basic huts known as Chhau Goth.
The Supreme Court had banned chhaupadi more than a decade ago but it is still followed in parts of Nepal, particularly in remote western districts.
PHOTO: Evana Manandhar, Miss Nepal 2015
I’m supporting the 4 Days of Fun campaign and promised to raise the issue of menstrual hygiene at Miss World 2015.”
Miss Nepal 2015