Mensuration is a burden for Women 

Keshabi Joshi
Posted May 17, 2019 from Nepal

Mensuration is a burden for Women 

kesavi Joshi

Many women are suppressed by the tribe called Chhaupadi pratha in Nepal.  Menstruation is called chhaupadi pratha in Hindu culture. During the menstruation time, they have been considering as impure and untouchable way. In every month mostly  3 or 5 days of period’s time women are not allowed to touch anybody. They sleep far away from the house with no bedding outside in a small hut called Chhaupadi goth until they are clean.  Not only that they must eat their mail alone without milk or curd. At those days they could not touch anybody psychically and are not allowed to use water resources like a tap, well, they are not allowed to go to the temple. Even girls do not go to school at that time. It hampers their study.

I have also faced such superstition. In my first time periods, I was 13 and had been studying in 8; I did not go to school until 5 days.  I slept in-ground flour, which was used for an animal, and fortunately, there was another house for them. During my first and second time periods,  I was not allowed to talk with my father and brother that hurts me badly.  I was against this tradition but I could not raise the voice at that time. There are some fallacies which are deeply rooted in our mind, ‘If we did not follow that tradition god surely punished us’. Mostly we have doubt that we may be mad if we did not go through this path.

 Nepali Supreme Court banned chaupadi prata in 2005 and it was declared that forcing a menstruating woman into a shed is illegal.  

Now, chaupadi  pratha is criminalized in Nepal.  Under the new law, which was passed in August 2018, sending women to a period hut or shed is a punishable crime and a person found guilty of such an act can receive a sentence of three months in prison and a fine of Rs 3,000 ($37 AUD). However, the law could not be implemented so far. Everyone knows that the custom is still followed in the same way but nobody complained about it, because of fair.

I want to change it, though well educated, well information and well innovators. I know that it is very difficult to change drastically but it will be changed by the step. First, we need research about society, religion, customs, traditions and the people too. Then we can select the right person as innovators who can adopt the new way and, can change the way of women and came out them from this fallacy.

 

This story was submitted in response to Menstruation Matters.

Comments 14

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ARREY- ECHI
May 17
May 17

Hello Joshi,
Thank you for your story.
It is sad to read about the inhuman treatment given to women
because of something nature bestowed upon us.
I am glad there is a law now condemning such. let's hope the laws will be enforced for the better.

Keshabi Joshi
May 19
May 19

Thanks for your comment sis.
we also hope that the law would be implemented soon.

Lisbeth
May 17
May 17

Wow! This is such an experience. Women are excommunicated because of "periods". I think its great this call for paper came out. At least we are hearing things.
Thanks for sharing yours too.

Keshabi Joshi
May 19
May 19

Thanks for your comments.

Olutosin
May 17
May 17

May you be able to change it.
May you find your tribe of great people who will help you to change it and may you access all the needed resources to transform your society. Amen
Change begins with the determination to change.

Keshabi Joshi
May 19
May 19

Thanks for your comments.
And I m writing and spreading awareness about menstruation for a long time.

Jill Langhus
May 18
May 18

Hi Keshabi,

Welcome back! Thanks for sharing your sad, but informative story. What a great idea. How far are you in the process? Have you made any legal connections so that the law can start being enforced? Perhaps a FB group to spread awareness around it, or even a petition? Let us know what you decide to do and how it goes. I'm eager to see the end of this harmful practice, as I'm sure you and many others are as well:-)

Keshabi Joshi
May 19
May 19

hi,
thanks for your comment and suggestions. I am doing from my side and the problem is everywhere in here, but the women of rural area are facing more than urban.
I have not sufficient time, economic strength and main resources to change the mindset up of such society where they believe that if they don't follow the tradition their god would be angry. it is not easy to change trapped thought. basically, it is in a rural area where is the scarcity of everything such as education, health, sanitation, etc. Ngo and Ingo are working there but nothing to change, they destroy their huts and declare 'chhaupadi free society but the problem is not declining but it is being too worse.

Jill Langhus
May 19
May 19

You're welcome:-) Hmm. Well, perhaps you could start just by spreading more awareness around it, like bringing it up here is great, and then maybe FB next? You could reach out to Elsa from Safecity who is on World Pulse. She's a trailblazer in India who has implemented many new programs to help empower women. She may be interested in collaborating with you to start a program there, or she may have some connections there that you could collaborate with to make some changes, or she may also have some other suggestions for you since she will be more aware of the challenges involved. This is her profile: https://www.worldpulse.com/community/users/safecity. Let me know how it goes. I'm sure she'd love to hear from you and to be part of the change there, too! You can also private message me, if you would like brainstorm some more, or if you need additional support, too. Good luck! The World Pulse sisterhood is behind you 100%!

Keshabi Joshi
May 22
May 22

Dear Langhus
Thanks again for your suggestions and warm.

Jill Langhus
May 22
May 22

You're welcome, dear.

Tamarack Verrall
May 20
May 20

Dear Joshi,
You have lived through some important changes that though still not recognized everywhere, have given you both personal experience and ground to stand on for change. I have read that your name means "light bringer or reflect light like sun" and from your profile page here, that your passion is journalism. What a great combination. It is so good the read that the actual law has been changed in your country. This is not well known, and is important for us all to know. I wish you all the best in your work changing these old ways and misconceptions. World Pulse sister Urmila Chanam has done work on ending menstrual huts in India. Being in touch with her could give you a boost too.
In sisterhood,
Tam

Keshabi Joshi
May 22
May 22

Dear Verrall,
Thanks for your encouragement and your thought towards me. I am trying my best and I must be connected with world plus sister Urmila Chanam.
It is very difficult to change society immediately. But I think the women and girls who are forced to live in huts are raped, they have fair of snake, wild animal and fire too. Basically, such huts are far from the house and they are not safe too. When I read or hear 'the girl was raped or burnt or attacked during her periods (mensuration) ' I can't tolerate.

Hello, Joshi,

How unjust this practice is! I could relate on having a law but not fully implemented. But it is still a good thing that a law has been passed, it means women can gather together and find ways to stop this illegal practice. I hope a woman warrior will arise from Nepal to end this mistreatment to women.

Thank you for sharing story. Hugs.