Banned Practice of Isolating Menstruating Women Still Prevails in Nepal

Last Updated: January 21, 2023, 19:59 IST

This has been going on for centuries. One such tradition is Chaupadi.

Chaupadi is a practice in Nepal that banishes women from taking part in any household activities during their periods.

Menstruation is a monthly occurrence for women. The process is biological and natural, but there’s a lot of taboo and stigma around it. These taboos have often restricted women to take part in various activities at home in India and some other Asian countries too. This has been going on for centuries. One such tradition is Chaupadi. It is a practice in Nepal that restricts women from taking part in any household activities during their periods. They are even not allowed to stay inside their house.

According to Third Eye Foundation, even though the Supreme Court of Nepal had banned the practice of Chaupadi in 2004, it is still widespread in the mid and western regions of the country.

People believe that if a woman during her periods stays inside the house, gods and goddesses will become angry. In some cases, women are instructed to live in separate areas of the house, but in other cases they are often forced to live in a mud hut outside the house. From horror stories of fathers being possessed if women stayed in the house during periods to forbidding them from touching cattle or crops during their menstrual week, women face all kinds of discrimination.

Women in her periods cannot take part in the activities such as worshipping or visiting to the temple. In fact, the Chaupadi tradition also ostracises women who have just given birth and are forced to live in similar conditions, which can even invite infections and make them severely ill. Infants and mothers cannot be subjected to such conditions immediately after birth, as that can lead to infant and maternal mortality due to their increased vulnerabilities to diseases and infections.

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Chaupadi also leads to the isolated women being molested and sexually abused, due to which the tradition has caused not only physical but also adverse psychological effects on them.

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