Presentation Title

Menstruation practice in Nepal

Faculty Mentor

Debbie Goss

Start Date

23-11-2019 11:15 AM

End Date

23-11-2019 11:30 AM

Location

Markstein 211

Session

oral 2

Type of Presentation

Oral Talk

Subject Area

behavioral_social_sciences

Abstract

Menstruation in Nepal

The treatment of women during menstruation varies depending on the cultural. Some cultures view menstruation as a positive and natural process of life; however, some cultures stigmatize this natural process. In western Nepal, the process of menstruation is viewed with disdain. There is a long history of Chhaupadi Pratha,which is the practice in which women are isolated from their family and the society, made to live in a cowshed away from their home without ventilation and with highly restrictive social contact. This tradition of mandating that women remain isolated in cowsheds during their full menstruation cycle is a violation of human rights. This practice is sustained because women are predominantly illiterate and do not have access to basic education. To gain understanding of this practice, the primary method of research was oral history. An in-depth oral history interview with my grandmother allowed for a detailed personal account of menstruation isolation practices in Western Nepal where she grew up. My grandmother, Maya Devi Sharma, shared her personal experience with these menstruation isolation practices. She also shared how she herself enacted these practices with her daughters. Lastly, she relayed her impressions of how these practices have changed (or not changed) today. She acknowledged that the practice should be changed, yet she seemed satisfied with minimal revisions to the Chhaupadi Pratha practices today. In light of the fact that she never received any formal education, her story underscores the importance of health education. While this study is focused on the human rights issues surrounding menstruation isolation practices in Western parts of Nepal, it has broader implications for addressing similar gender abuses around the globe.

Keywords: menstruation, Nepal, education, Chhaupadi Pratha, gender discrimination

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Nov 23rd, 11:15 AM Nov 23rd, 11:30 AM

Menstruation practice in Nepal

Markstein 211

Menstruation in Nepal

The treatment of women during menstruation varies depending on the cultural. Some cultures view menstruation as a positive and natural process of life; however, some cultures stigmatize this natural process. In western Nepal, the process of menstruation is viewed with disdain. There is a long history of Chhaupadi Pratha,which is the practice in which women are isolated from their family and the society, made to live in a cowshed away from their home without ventilation and with highly restrictive social contact. This tradition of mandating that women remain isolated in cowsheds during their full menstruation cycle is a violation of human rights. This practice is sustained because women are predominantly illiterate and do not have access to basic education. To gain understanding of this practice, the primary method of research was oral history. An in-depth oral history interview with my grandmother allowed for a detailed personal account of menstruation isolation practices in Western Nepal where she grew up. My grandmother, Maya Devi Sharma, shared her personal experience with these menstruation isolation practices. She also shared how she herself enacted these practices with her daughters. Lastly, she relayed her impressions of how these practices have changed (or not changed) today. She acknowledged that the practice should be changed, yet she seemed satisfied with minimal revisions to the Chhaupadi Pratha practices today. In light of the fact that she never received any formal education, her story underscores the importance of health education. While this study is focused on the human rights issues surrounding menstruation isolation practices in Western parts of Nepal, it has broader implications for addressing similar gender abuses around the globe.

Keywords: menstruation, Nepal, education, Chhaupadi Pratha, gender discrimination