Women Banished During That Time of the Month

Image: Uttara Saud sits inside a Chaupadi shed in the hills of Legudsen village in Achham District in western Nepal
Uttara Saud, 14, sits inside a Chaupadi shed in the hills of Legudsen village in Achham District in western Nepal on Feb. 16. Chaupadi is a tradition observed in parts of Nepal, which cuts women off from the rest of society when they are menstruating. NAVESH CHITRAKAR / Reuters

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Chaupadi is a tradition observed in parts of Nepal, which cuts women off from the rest of society when they are menstruating. Women who practice Chaupadi sleep in sheds or outbuildings while they are on their period, often with little protection from the elements. According to a United Nations field bulletin, the women are not allowed to enter houses or temples, use normal public water sources, take part in festivals or touch others during their menstruation.

Suntali Devi Saud, who practices Chaupadi, washes her clothes in Achham District in western Nepal February 16, 2014. Women who practice traditional Chaupadi are not allowed to use normal public water sources.NAVESH CHITRAKAR / Reuters
Dhuna Devi Saud prepares to sleep inside a Chaupadi shed in the hills of Legudsen in western Nepal.NAVESH CHITRAKAR / Reuters

Isolated in sheds that are frequently rickety and unhygienic, there are cases of women dying from illness, exposure, animal attacks or from fires lit in poorly ventilated spaces.

Chaupadi was banned by Nepal's Supreme Court in 2005, but it is still common in the country's far and mid-western regions.

--Reuters

Rupa Chand Shah, 32, a school teacher who does not support the practice of Chaupadi, teaches an awareness class at Shree Devi Mando School in the hills of Legudsen village in western Nepal on Feb. 16.NAVESH CHITRAKAR / Reuters