November 18, 2017
Latest News

Chhaupadi custom in western Nepal shuns, endangers menstruating women

Kathmandu, Oct 17 (efe-epa).- On a cold winter's evening in December 2016, Roshani Tiruwa, 16, arrived home after collecting firewood from the jungle. She ate dinner and went to bed in a 'Chhaupadi' hut next to her house since it was the third day of her menstruation period.

The next morning she was found dead. The teenage girl most likely suffocated, police said, after lighting a fire to keep warm in the hut, the openings of which were closed to keep in heat but also trapped the smoke inside.

'Chhaupadi Pratha' is an ancient tradition in Nepal that banishes girls and women from their homes to makeshift sheds and huts during their menstruation period. The term 'Chhaupadi' is a combination of the words 'Chhau' (menstruation) and 'Padi' (hut), and 'Pratha' means tradition.

The custom is practiced by devout Hindu communities in some districts of western Nepal, especially in the far western Accham district, which is located 424 kilometers from the capital of Kathmandu.

Girls and women are forced to stay in small huts or sheds - or even in caves - built away from their homes, for seven to nine days during their monthly period according to the centuries-old ritual. They are also prohibited from participating in normal daily activities as they are considered 'impure'.

Elderly and devout practitioners believe that Kalika devi, the Hindu goddess of power, will be furious should girls and women stay home during their monthly period, and that their touch will make men ill, stop cattle from giving milk, and even stop trees from bearing fruit, leading them to wither and die.

They are denied access to water taps and barred from using toilets and bathing stations at home, which forces them to go into the jungle to defecate in the open air, leaving them vulnerable to the bites of poisonous snakes - another mortal danger for women partaking in Chhaupadi.

The restrictions also leave them at risk of using contaminated water sources and spending their nights in dirty and unsafe conditions.

Rendered untouchable, the menstruating girls and women are also not allowed to use the regular walking paths.

Roshani Tiruwa's case is not the first one. According to media reports, eight girls or women have died in the past 10 years in Nepal while practicing the tradition.

In August 2017, the Nepalese parliament passed a law criminalizing the 'Chhaupadi' tradition. Offenders will be sentenced to three months in prison and a $30 fine.

Various organizations and a new generation of young women and girls are fighting for change by holding awareness campaigns through radio programs, meetings between shamans, local women and members of their community, and giving reward packages for girls and women who stay at home during menstruation.

Nonetheless the tradition persists in Nepal. 'Change doesn't come easily. The enforcement of the law alone cannot bring change, attitudes and beliefs need to be changed first', says 18-year-old Dhurba Timilsina, a member of a children's club in Accham district.

News history
NGO's display at Spain playground draws attention to war's impact on children

Barcelona, Nov 18 (efe-epa).- The Save the Children international non-governmental organization on Saturday set up a display featuring an enormous rifle and...

Fresh outbreak of bird flu detected in southern South Korea

Seoul, Nov 18 (efe-epa).- South Korea's ministry of agriculture, food and rural affairs on Saturday said it had detected a fresh outbreak of bird flu in a...

Trump revokes permit to import elephant trophies pending review

Washington, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- The United States President on Friday revoked his government's decision to lift its ban on the import of elephant trophies...

Border Patrol agents ill from pollution along US/Mexico border

San Diego, California, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- Burns, allergic reactions, dermatitis and even some ruined boots are among the evidence presented by Border Patrol...

Jesse Jackson reveals he has Parkinson's

Washington, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- US civil rights activist the Rev. Jesse Jackson revealed Friday that he is suffering from Parkinson's disease.

Disabled South Americans compete in wheelchair version of Copa Libertadores

Rio de Janeiro, Nov 17 (efe-epa).- Competitors from six teams and three countries are competing here in the third edition of the Copa Libertadores...

Women do the heavy lifting in Brazil's recycling industry

Sao Paulo, Nov 16 (efe-epa).- Powered only by a breakfast of sweet coffee and toast, widowed single mother Maura Pereira ekes out a living collecting...

Pilgrims gather in Nepal to ward off evil spirits with rituals

New Delhi, Nov 16 (efe-epa).- Rinku Yadav was dragged by her hair to the banks of a holy river for an early morning holy dip, following which she was beaten...

South Korean college entrance exam postponed after quake

Seoul, Nov 16 (efe-epa).- South Korea's nationwide college entrance exams did not take place Thursday due to a magnitude 5.4 earthquake the previous day and...

Scientists investigate mysterious recovery of frog populations in Australia

Sydney, Australia, Nov 16 (efe-epa).- A team of scientists in Australia is investigating the causes of the unexpected recovery of frog populations in the...

Lawyers demand solution for lost DACA renewal requests

Chicago, Nov 15 (efe-epa).- Attorneys defending young undocumented foreigners who have benefitted under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program...

World's largest marijuana store serving up pot like hamburgers

Las Vegas, Nevada, Nov 15 (efe-epa).- A Las Vegas superstore that is the world's largest marijuana dispensary is getting cannabis smokeables and edibles...

Diabetes could make women vulnerable to increased health problems

Mexico City, Nov 15 (efe-epa).- The problems associated with diabetes "could put women who have - or have a propensity for having - this disease into a...

Tillerson rules out sanctions on Myanmar over Rohingya crisis

Bangkok, Nov 15 (efe-epa).- The Secretary of State of the United States Wednesday said levying sanctions on Myanmar will not resolve the Rohingya crisis.

Human Rights Watch calls on China to curb conversion therapy

Hong Kong, Nov 15 (efe-epa).- Human Rights Watch has urged the Chinese government to end forms of treatment designed to alter an individual's sexual...

Fighting cancer a greater challenge in underdeveloped countries

Mexico City, Nov 14 (efe-epa).- The fight against cancer should set as its goal improving detection of the disease in "oncologically underdeveloped...

Kazakhstan seeks to help Africa rise out of poverty

Astana, Nov. 14 (efe-epa).- Kazakhstan shared on Tuesday in a symposium with representatives of 43 African countries its experience in poverty reduction, in...

Indonesia rescues 6 stranded sperm whales, 4 die

Jakarta, Nov 14 (efe-epa).- Indonesia rescued six of the ten sperm whales stranded on a beach in the northern part of Sumatra Island in western Indonesia,...

Women march in Brazil against law prohibiting all abortions

Sao Paulo, Nov 13 (efe-epa).- Thousands of women marched in Brazilian cities on Monday to protest a bill that, if it becomes law, would prohibit all...

Puerto Rico asks US for $94 bn in aid after devastating hurricanes

Washington, Nov 13 (efe-epa).- Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rossello on Monday asked the White House and the US Congress for more than $94 billion in aid to...

Protest at Bonn climate summit against US presence

Bonn, Germany, Nov 13 (efe-epa).- The event at which the US administration of Donald Trump was to make its debut at a climate summit here was boycotted on...

Trump picks former big pharma exec as health secretary

Washington, Nov 13 (efe-epa).- US President Donald Trump announced Monday on Twitter his nomination of Alex Azar, a former executive of the pharmaceutical...

From notorious neighborhoods to Colombia's finest universities

Cali, Colombia, Nov 13 (efe-epa).- Four young people, natives of the poorest, most infamous areas of Cali and now promoters of social projects from music to...

Argentine president urges alliance between business, academia

Buenos Aires, Nov 13 (efe-epa).- Argentine President Mauricio Macri on Monday urged private companies and public universities to work together on behalf of...

I agree Welcome to news4europe.eu. We use cookies to improve your online experience. Find out more.