According to the Ancient Hindu scriptures, women are infectious during their menstrual cycle. Their bodies are weaker, prone to viruses and that is why they are separated from the community until their period finishes.
Kamala B. K. is a fourteen-year-old girl who lives in a village in western Nepal. Currently, she is staying in a shed because she is on her period. She got her first menstruation when she was 11 years old and since then she has been staying in a shed during her menstrual cycle. The sheds look awful- they are built among the trees and away from the houses. They are made of thatched roofs and raised platforms with no walls. Sometimes 3 or 4 menstruating girls are sharing the sheds. There is hardly enough space for one of them to lie down.
According to a tradition called chaupadi in western Nepal, a woman on her period has to stay outside, eat outside and sleep outside in small sheds because it is believed that if she enters someone’s home the gods will get angry and the people and the animals will get sick.
Although the Supreme Court of Nepal banned sending women to sheds during their menstrual periods in 2005, there are still villages that stick to this old practice.
Continues to page 2 below…