AlertNet Examines Effects Of Nepalese Water Shortages On Local Women’s Hygiene

AlertNet examines how water shortages in Nepal are impeding women’s hygiene in the country. The news service profiles the village of Paudiyalthok in the country’s Panchkhal Valley, about 25 miles east of the capital Kathmandu, where “a lack of reliable water sources is affecting many aspects of [residents’] lives, and women are bearing the brunt of changing weather patterns.”

“When water is in short supply, sanitation and hygiene tend to take a back seat” and “women … are subjected to chhaupadi pratha, a centuries-old custom of banishing Nepali women and girls from home for three nights while they are menstruating, as well as during and after childbirth, because they are considered impure,” the news service writes, noting that the practice was “outlawed by Nepal’s Supreme Court in 2005” but still persists in rural areas. “The impact of prolonged drought on sanitation for women is an issue that is only now beginning to be addressed,” AlertNet writes, highlighting efforts by the non-governmental Institute for Social and Environmental Transition-Nepal (ISET-N) (Rehman, 12/13).