Banished for bleeding: Woman dies in ‘menstruation hut’

The Hush Post | 8:24 pm | Two-minute read

A woman in Nepal’s Daati district suffocated to death in a ‘menstruation hut’ after she lit a fire to keep warm. The death has been reported weeks after a similar incident claimed the life of another woman. The incident has taken the world by storm.

21-year-old Parwati Bogati was sleeping in a windowless ‘menstruation hut’, a small hut made outside the house for menstruating women. Women in Nepal are supposed to spend the duration of their periods in these ‘menstruation huts’, even though the law bars this age-old practice known as Chhaupadi.

Nepal Supreme Court in 2005 banned the practice and the Nepalese government criminalized it in 2017. However, the practice continues unabated in many parts of the country.

When Parwati went to stay in the hut, she had the company of 2-3 other women from the village. However, on the night of January 31, she was left alone inside the hut. In order to keep warm, Parwati lit a fire.

Next morning, when Parwati didn’t wake up on time, her mother-in-law Laxmi went to the hut and found her dead. She at once called the police who took the body into their possession and conducted a post-mortem.

According to Laxmi, Parwati’s periods were to end the next day.

In a similar incident in January, a woman and her two children had died in a ‘menstruation hut’.

Menstruating women are considered to be ‘impure’ or as bringers of bad luck in Nepalese orthodox society. They are forced to sleep outside in huts or cattle sheds, and are banned from touching some foods, religious icons, and even men.

 

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