Addressing Stigmatization Of Menstruation In Nepal Requires Changing ‘Deeply Internalized Ideas About Female Body’
New York Times: I Am Not Untouchable. I Just Have My Period.
Cheryl Strayed, author, and Brian Lindstrom, documentary filmmaker
“…The impact of [the practice of chhaupadi] is profound. … In an effort to end the practice, Nepal’s Supreme Court outlawed chhaupadi in 2005, and in 2017 a law was enacted that made it a crime to force girls and women out of their homes during menstruation. But the practice persists, especially in the remote regions of midwestern and western Nepal, because of deeply held superstitions about menstruation and the immense social pressure to enforce the menstrual taboo. Less severe forms of the practice — those that isolate girls and women inside of their homes rather than banish them entirely — are also common and still negatively affect women and girls. … Because the menstrual taboo in Nepal is rooted in long-held beliefs about the intrinsic inferiority of girls and women, the solution isn’t to destroy menstrual huts but to eradicate deeply internalized ideas about the female body as impure. The laws have changed, but mind-sets must change too…” (3/8).