Awareness drive against Chhaupadi


An orientation aiming to raise awareness about the adverse effects of Chhaupadi was organised at Badaipur of Bhimdatta Municipality in Kanchanpur on Monday.

The programme was organised by SEWAK Nepal, an NGO, in association with USAID at Baijanath Secondary School.

Women participants in the programme complained that they had to face a hard time in the sheds during menstruation due to longstanding conservative practices.

They also said it was a difficult task to eliminate the prolonged tradition in remote rural areas.

Women Development Officer Anita Budhayar spoke about the health and security challenges faced by local women during menstruation.

Though local women had started pulling down the Chhaupadi sheds a few years back, they gradually came up again outside houses for women to sty during menstruation. Budhayar urged women to be more active in eliminating the deep-rooted custom.

Programme facilitator and advocate Punam Chand Singh talked about the challenges and threats associated with the age-old tradition. She said the practice would gradually decline, but women needed to overcome the fear of their families.

Participants complained that they were barred from staying inside the house, touching anything inside the house and even using the family toilet.

Tekendra Rawal of SEWAK said that since women had to stay outside during their periods, they defecated in the open and this was affecting the district’s plan to become an open defecation free zone by the end of 2015.

Locals, volunteers, shamans, representatives of citizen’s charter, political leaders, teachers, and mediapersons attended the programme.