Kathmandu, December 11
It has already been three years since the government enforced new criminal law that also criminalises chhaupadi, the traditional system of banishing menstruating women from their house into a makeshift shed every month. However, three of seven provinces in the country still practise it even now, finds a national survey.
The ‘States of Menstrual Health and Hygiene Management among Adolescent Girls in Nepal’ survey conducted by the Nepal Health Research Council and World Vision International from October to December last year finds that Sudurpaschim, Karnali and Lumbini still practise the criminalised system.
According to the survey report released earlier this week, 47.7 per cent respondents in Sudurpaschim said they were forced to stay in chhaugoths, sheds meant for their stay during the menstruation. Karnali had this figure at 20.5 per cent whereas Province 5 at 0.9 per cent.
Overall, 8.7 per cent of the 3,675 adolescent girls (10-19 years) said they were forced to live in chhaugoths.
On the other hand, 75 per cent of the respondents said the system was bad whereas the proportion of the girls against its continuation was 83.9 per cent. Interestingly, 22.5 per cent of the respondents in Sudurpaschim said it should continue.