Nepal Dies Nepal

Illegal custom - Woman dies in a "menstrual hut" in Nepal

Another woman died in a so-called menstrual hut in Nepal. Police in the west of the Himalayan state said the 21-year-old was likely to suffocate from the smoke of a fire that she warmed up. The woman reportedly slept in an empty house near her home in the village of Purbichauki during her period because the town's communal menstrual hut was full.

According to the custom called “Chhaupadi”, Hindu women are expelled from their family homes during their menstrual period. They must live in cowsheds or other locations away from home for at least four days. Since they are considered unclean, the women are not allowed to touch people or cattle or fruit and vegetables during this time.

The custom has recently become a criminal offense in Nepal, but has persisted as a deeply rooted tradition among Hindus in the west of the country.

13 fatalities in the past ten years

A few weeks ago a woman and her two sons were killed in a fire in a menstrual hut in western Nepal. According to women's rights activists, at least 13 women have died in Nepal in the past ten years while they were banished from their homes - from snakebites, hypothermia or profuse bleeding, for example. In the predominantly Hindu neighboring country of India, women of childbearing age are also discriminated against, for example by being denied access to temples.

From RND / dpa