January 9, 2019, Timalesena village, Kathmandu, Nepal
Menstruating women are still considered impure in 2019. When Amba Bohara got her period in early January, she and her children barricaded themselves into a tiny “menstruating” hut for the remainder of the icy night. The next morning, 26-year old Amba Bohara and her two children had died, supposedly from suffocation from the fire they had used to keep themselves warm. This centuries-old tradition of isolating menstruating women for fear of “contamination” of the home is known as chhaupadi, and is still widespread. According to the New York Times, a 2010 Nepali government survey found that 19% of women age 15-49 practice chhaupadi, and since 2007, at least eight women have died from various causes including animal attacks, suffocation, and smoke inhalation. Although the Nepali government banned this practice in 2005, change is slow to come.
Source: New York Times.
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