Hearing stories of women having to undergo strange ‘rituals’ and ‘rules’ just because they get periods always upsets me. When I first learned about ‘Chhaupadi’ and ‘Gufa prathas’ during a middle school social studies class, I was appalled by the fact that the society would punish women to either live out of their houses – in dangerous conditions – or lock them in a room, not letting them see the sun at all for something that is only natural and also completely out of their control.
This is not meant to disrespect any culture or tradition, but to address the level of awkwardness and discomfort experienced by women. Haven’t we moved forward enough in the world to not scrutinize women who may be having their period?
KATHMANDU, March 24: A parliamentary committee has been found to be preparing a field report on Chhaupadi deaths without any of its members visiting the incident site in the district of Bajura despite spending two days in the district headquarters, Martadi.
KATHMANDU, March 6: In the meeting of the House of Representatives on Wednesday, the lawmakers discussed on strict implementation of the law and launch of special campaigns from federal to local levels to end chhaupadi system.
DOTI, Feb 1: On January 19, a woman and her two sons died of asphyxiation when the menstrual hut they were sheltering in caught fire while they were asleep. Amba Bohora, 35, along with her sons Suresh, 9, and Ramit, 7, died a tragic death, shocking many.
JUMLA, Sept 29: Tila Rural Municipality of Jumla has put in place strict rules and policies against the representatives and locals promoting and practicing the ill-traditions of Chhaupadi and untouchability.
SURKHET, Aug 23: A year ago, Bedraj Bhandari of Panchpuri Municipality-10 was elected as a ward member during the local polls. Being an elected representative, his responsibility is to take initiatives to abolish ill practices and traditions of society. Instead of discouraging people to continue Chhaupadi, Bhandari has not been able to demolish the menstrual hut in his very own home.
DOTI, July 17: While deaths from chhaupadi shelters in the western region have not ceased to make headlines, initiatives taken to counter the culture are dwarfed in front of its root cause- fear of their kuldevta (clan deity). ‘They can stand death of their girls and women’ but cannot anger their clan deity, activists working in the sector share. Strong faith in their clan deity and fear of repercussion of angering the deity among the locals suggests that the solution to uproot the practice of chhaupadi is hard to come by.
ACHHAM, July 13: Most of the female relatives of the girls and women who lost their lives in Chhaupadi sheds are still supporting the malpractice. Despite losing relatives to confinement in animal sheds during menstruation, female family members of the deceased are giving continuity to the tradition by sleeping isolated in sheds during menstruation, it has been found.
SURKHET, June 25: Anita Sharma of Chaukune Rural Municipality-6, Bhabar is a 12th grader in a local school. She got married three years ago. Being a student, she is well aware that it's not right to stay in Chhaupadi sheds during periods. But still she is compelled to stay there for five days of menstruation due to the fear of 'angering' the gods.
ACHHAM, April 4: In order to end the traditional ill practice of Chhaupadi, women in Nandegada, Mellekh-7 of Achham have started demolishing the menstrual huts where they were compelled to stay during their periods.
KANCHANPUR, March 2: Chhaupadhi custom, a harmful Hindu practice that banishes women from home during menstruation, forcing them to stay in an isolated hut or cowshed, is still pervasive in Kanchanpur, despite its criminalization last year.
BAJHANG, Dec 22: With the aim of eradicating Chhaupadi, the women of Dhamile, Jaya Prithvi Municipality-11, have launched a campaign to ostracize those families in the area that practice or encourage Chhaupadi.
KANCHANPUR, Dec 19: In an effort to end Chhaupadi, a campaign has been launched to dismantle Chhaupadi sheds in the district. Chhaupadi is an outlawed ancient Hindu practice that banishes women to a shed during menstruation and after childbirth deeming them impure.
KATHMANDU, Nov 15: The Supreme Court (SC) on Tuesday issued an order to the government authorities to bring forth an action plan to end chhaupadi, a superstitious practice forcing women and girls to live in cowsheds during menstruation.
Just the thought of chhaupadi makes us shudder. I am sure you know of women in western Nepal—in Doti, Accham, Bajura, Kailali, Dailekh, Bajhang, Baitadi and Dadeldhura districts—are forced to live in small, cold, damp and unhygienic sheds in the woods, or in animal sheds or mud huts that are completely separate from the house, for five days every month when they are menstruating
KATHMANDU, Aug 9: The Legislature Parliament passed the Criminal Code 2074 on Wednesday.
The Parliament brought the new code in order to update the criminal law which was earlier based on the amendment of Civil Code-2021.
DAILEKH, July 29: The government's failure to implement the Supreme Court (SC) order against the Chhaupadi practice has given continuity to the social evil in Dailekh district where violence against women is highly prevalent. Incidents of women dying in cowsheds while practicing Chhaupadi are on the rise in the district due to the government's failure to implement the apex court's instruction to eradicate the practice.
BAJHANG, June 14: Some women in Bajhang have announced that they will vote for candidates in the upcoming local level elections who express commitment to end the tradition of chhaupadi. They have openly forwarded this demand to mayoral candidates of Maoists (Center), CPN-UML and Nepali congress, among other political parties, during the latter’s door to door election campaign.
DOTI, April 6: An adolescent girl of Gajari in Doti district, who sustained burn injuries about two months ago when her Chhaupadi shed caught fire, is still awaiting treatment. She is forced to endure agonizing pain every day in lack of sufficient funds for her treatment.
KATHMANDU, Jan 26: A parliamentary panel has proposed that the practice of chhaupad, which is common mostly in the mid and far-western districts, should be made a criminal act, pointing out that this age-old custom is inhumane and a discrimination again women during menstruation and the postnatal period.
ACHHAM, Dec 19: Roshani Tiruwa, 15, of Gajra - 7 died on Saturday night in Chhaupadi goth (isolated shed) where women and girls and kept during menstruation. Her family members found her body lying in the shed on Saturday morning. This is the second incident of Chhaupadi death in Achham within a month. On November 19, Dambara Upadhyay, 21, was found dead in Chhaupadi shed.
NEPALGUNJ, Dec 14: On November 18, Dambara Upadhyaya (21) of Tamilsain - 7 was sleeping in Chhaupadi goth- an isolated shed made for women who are menstruating. In morning her family found her dead. Post mortem report did not confirm the cause of death.
NEPALGUNJ, Dec 9: On November 18, Dambara Upadhyaya (21) of Tamilsain - 7 was sleeping in Chhaupadi goth- an isolated shed made for women who are menstruating. In morning her family found her dead. Post mortem report did not confirm the cause of death.
There is this small mud hut outside almost every house in Bajura district.
Temporarily made, dirty, unmanaged and just big enough to fit one person in, this hut is where women are forced to live every time they menstruate.