Nepal | September 21, 2019

Women ostracised for activism against Chhau

Himalayan News Service

Accham, May 30

A local woman Mansara Saud of Ramarosan Rural Municipality in Accham was ostracised after she took up the fight against the practice of chhaupadi.

With no one supporting her campaign, Mansara was isolated. She had launched the campaign saying no menstruating woman should stay inside chhaupadi huts as it was a practice based on superstitious belief. She said she had also stayed in the hut during her monthly cycle due to lack of awareness and knowledge. Mansara started staying inside her house and shunning the chhau hut during her periods after some women lost their lives while staying in the chhau huts.

Mansara launched the campaign saying that confining menstruating women inside chhau huts was a conservative practice. “Chhau tradition is bad cultural practice that makes every woman to bear the brunt of male domination,” she said.  Mansara informed that a group of four to five women, including her, were attacked when they were heading to demolish chhau huts some days back. “Even some intellectual women did not support our campaign,” she said.

Not only uneducated women, but intellectual women have also stayed inside chhau huts during menstruation. “It is very difficult to convince uneducated women because even educated women stay in the chhau huts,” she said.

Bisna Saud, another local, said they faced problems in the fight against this bad social practice as even educated women did not support them.

Meanwhile, Vice-chair Saraswati Rawal of the rural municipality said the rural municipality had launched various programmes to uproot chhaupadi culture time and again, but in vain.

 


A version of this article appears in print on May 31, 2019 of The Himalayan Times.


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