Global & Disaster Medicine

Another victim of a very old tradition in rural Nepal, in which religious Hindus believe that menstruating women are unclean and should be banished from the family home.

NY Times

  • Ms. Bayak  was found dead on Monday, apparently having asphyxiated after building a small fire inside the hut to keep warm.
  • In Nepal, one of Asia’s poorest countries, dozens of women and girls have died in recent years from following this tradition, despite activists’ campaigns and government efforts to end the practice.
  • Menstruating women often trudge outside at night to bed down with cows or goats in tiny, rough, grass-roofed huts and sheds.
  • Many have been raped by intruders or died from exposure to the elements.
  • Last summer, the Nepalese government made it illegal for anyone to force a menstruating woman or girl to sequester herself, with violators subject to jail time or fines.
  • The law came with a grace period to give people time to absorb the new rules
  • No punishments are to be handed out until August.

Kathmandu, Nepal

Haze along the Himalaya



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