Once Upon a Month by Incognito

Periods: not exactly a walk in the park in other parts of the world…

August 22nd, 2017

Nadia
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I am just flabbergasted! Ok, so, today, allow me to get a little serious about a major issue that I need to address with all you ladies out there.

Having your period is rarely a fun time, but in some countries, it’s actually considered a burden, or even an IMPURE event! Yes, you read correctly… Ever heard of chaupadi? It’s a widespread practice in certain regions of Nepal…

Deemed impure, menstruating women are synonymous with a curse.  Therefore, throughout their period, they live in small, remote sod houses where they can’t go to school, touch men (otherwise they will become ill) or eat dairy products and meat (otherwise these foods will be tainted). Their diet only includes dried foods, rice and salt. One sad menu…

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(REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar)

Having travelled to Nepal with my parents when I was young, I remember the poverty and sometimes dificult conditions over there. Chaupadi hardly improves the plight of Nepalese women. Many girls die after being bitten by snakes, attacked by wild animals, asphyxiated, raped or even from malnutrition. IT'S HORRIBLE! No woman should die because she has her period!

There's good news! The authorities and organizations have deployed many efforts to eliminate this practice. In 2005, the Supreme Court of Nepal outlawed chaupadi. Unfortunately, this decision does not extend all the way to the villages in the western part of the country. Some of the local authorities have nevertheless declared their village a "chaupadi-free zone." Raising awareness on the land also enables some families to abandon chaupadi.

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(REUTERS/Navesh Chitrakar)

In short, slowly, behaviours are changing, bringing progress to women’s situation in Nepal. In fact, WaterAid’s global organization and its Canadian partner, WaterCan, help provide water and sanitary environments to several countries. Water means better health conditions for women.

Let’s just say all this leads me to put things into perspective when it comes to my PMS symptoms and my menstrual cramps…

Sources that helped in the writing of this article:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Chhaupadi
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/world/nepalese-menstruation-tradition-dies-hard/article11644844/

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About the author

Obsessed with traveling and an expert Trivial Pursuit player, Nadia is curious by nature and loves to surprise us by sharing some completely...