Chhaupadi, a traditional practice outlawed by the Supreme Court of Nepal in 2005, has been routinely carried out by people living in remote villages in the Hindu country. 

The practice of banishing menstruating women to small huts has been illegal for years but to no effect. 

Woman exiled during menstruation
Source: NPR

A taboo that has killed thousands of girls and women in the past in Western Nepal claimed another victim in December, 2019. 


According to The Guardian, a 21-year-old woman, Parwati Budha Rawat, passed away after spending three nights in an outdoor "period hut". 

Policemen check the hut in which a woman passed away
Source: The Guardian

Parwati was found dead on Monday, December 2nd after staying in a hut 100 metres from her home.

In her last bid to survive, she had lit a fire in the windowless period hut in Accham, Sudurpaschim Pradesh, where temperatures drop to below 10 degree Celsius.  

Sudurpaschim Pradesh, Nepal
Source: Cesif Nepal

The exact cause of death remained unclear but there were several likely possibilities, including smoke inhalation, dehydration, infection, and/or death due to cold air temperature, or hypothermia.


Her brother-in-law was later arrested and is being investigated for forcing her to stay in this hut. The woman's husband was found to be working in India at the time of her death. 

A period hut outside a house in Nepal
Source: BBC

The arrest was historic in the sense that it was the first time a man was being punished for a death caused due to the banishing of woman to an outdoor hut during menstruation. 


After an increase in the number of similar cases in the past, the Supreme Court of Nepal had decided in favour of a three month jail punishment and a fine of 3,000 Nepalese rupees (£21) against the culprit.
The same, however, was never implemented successfully. 

A woman outside her Period hut
Source: SCMP

According to a survey, with over 100 adolescent Nepali girls, it was found that the practice of menstrual exile is very much in place. 

Out of the 107 girls interviewed 72% were found to be practicing the exile, either in traditional huts and livestock sheds or to areas of the home separated from the rest of the family for four to five consecutive days. 

A mother-daughter duo exiled
Source: Water Aid

The fact that the first arrest for practicing an outlawed tradition was made in 2019, 14 years after it was first made illegal, is sickening to say the least. 

But rings bells about a requirement of adopting stringent laws and getting away with incumbent agencies.