Mother and two sons die in menstrual hut fire in a far-western district of Nepal

By Pragya Lamsal

 

Though Nepal’s parliament has enacted a new law in August 2017 criminalizing the menstrual seclusion, many women in the various parts of western Nepal are still suffering from the tradition as locals are still following the menstrual restrictions.

In yet another incident, a mother and her two sons died after a fire destroyed a menstrual hut at Budinanda Municipality-9 in Bajura, a far-western district of Nepal on Tuesday night, according to a local media report.

[Related: #Nepal criminalizes banishment of menstruating women ]

The deceased have been identified as Amba Bohora, 35, Suresh Bohora,12, and Ramit Bohora,9, of Budinanda municipality, according to Deputy Superintendent of Police Uddhav Singh Bhaat. They died of smoke inhalation after the fire broke out in the chhau shed when they were in deep sleep, state-owned Rastriya Samachar Samiti has reported quoting locals.

[Related: #Nepal: A teen dies in menstrual hut ]

The incident has shown that the tradition has not come to an end despite introduction of new law banning the banishment of menstruating women. I think, the government needs to put more efforts to end deep-rooted tradition of seclusion. Local leaders, teachers, priests, civil society members, media, youth activists and other social actors should be mobilized in awareness campaigns. I believe that locals who are practicing the tradition should be positioned as the core agents of change to smash this deep-rooted tradition.

[Related: In Nepal, women are still banished to ‘menstrual huts’ during their periods. It’s time to end this dangerous tradition ]

Nepal’s parliament in the last August had criminalized Chhaupadi, a centuries-old tradition of banishment of women during menstruation. The new law stipulates a three-month jail sentence or a 3,000 rupee fine ($30), or both, for anyone forcing a woman to follow the tradition. Earlier, Chhaupadi was outlawed by the Supreme Court of Nepal in 2005. But the tradition continued despite attempts to end it. I’m calling for an end to the – sometimes deadly – suffering.

About Chhaupadi

Chhaupadi, a centuries-old tradition in the western parts of Nepal in which women, considered impure during their menstruation and the menstrual seclusion is practised in its most extreme from. In some parts of these regions, menstruating women are literally banished to a shed while they bleed.

 

Reposted from original source with author’s permission. For further reading, read the author’s piece for Guardian.

2019-03-27T12:28:11+00:00January 15th, 2019|Blog|0 Comments

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