Practice of banishing women to small outbuildings during periods claims further victims despite country declaring practice illegal.
Micheal Safi for The Guardian
A woman and her two sons have suffocated to death in a windowless shed to which they were banished in the latest tragedy linked to the illegal practice of chhaupadi, whereby women in Nepal are forced to sleep in “period huts”.
Police said Amba Bohara, 35, had spent four days in the cowshed with her sons Ramit, nine, and Suresh, 12, when her father-in-law discovered their bodies on Wednesday morning.
She had been confined in line with the outlawed practice of chhaupadi –when woman having their monthly periods are forced to sleep inside tiny sheds or animal shelters because they are considered impure.
Uddhav Singh Bhat, deputy police chief in western Nepal’s Bajura district, said it appeared the family had lit a fire to keep warm inside the freezing mud hut but were overcome by fumes, and flames had spread to their blanket.
“The doctors have already finished the postmortem but we are yet to get the results,” he said.
Chhaupadi was criminalised in 2005, with penalties including a 3,000-rupee (£21) fine and a three-month jail term introduced last year for those convicted of perpetuating the custom. But it remains deeply embedded in some communities, particularly in the country’s poor western regions. Read full article here.