Women of Nepal
‘From development aid to support with development’
Menstruation and hygiene in Nepal
As it occurs in several Asian countries, the taboo about menstruation also predominates in Nepal. The old tradition chhaupadi is still practiced. Menstruation is not discussed and the girls do not get information about what happens and how to deal with hygiene. Often they are given two additional underpants or an old sari and they have to do it with it. With all the consequences as is. It is therefore regularly that girls and young women get severe infections, and even die.
Chhaupadi is a historic belief in Nepal, in which women should be separated from family and community during their period and live in huts and barns. Supposably they are considered impure. Although the use is prohibited by the Nepalese court in 2005 the tradition in the west of Nepal remains with around 95% of the population.
It is said that the Hindu gods will affect the community with doom such as diseases, poor harvest, death of livestock and other disasters if women stay in their own homes during their period. If the women were to pursue these customs, they would stay in often moist huts and small draughty barns during the time of their period. During chhaupadi, the duration of menstruation, they shall not touch men, eat or drink dairy products, not enter their own house or make food themselves. What remains is dried food such as salt, rice, and water. Women are therefore often more vulnerable and victims of malnutrition and diseases caused by infections. Besides, are they more likely attacked by passing through snake or larger animals like tigers and other predators.
Information Menstruation and Hygiene
Not only for the girls but also boys and parents we can make a difference in consciousness. We can show that menstruation is a natural fact that everyone should be aware of. Women, but just as important, men, too. This goes with the necessary counterpressure from the municipality, especially in men.
During the information days, we give training to girls and women about menstruation and hygiene in which we also try to involve as many men as possible. This allows them to see the content and what an influence it has on the female anatomy and life. More awareness and understanding for all parties.
- Two eco-friendly sanitary pads, of high-quality watertight cotton
- Two pairs 100% cotton underwear
- Five inlays, made of strong moisture-absorbing, high – quality cotton
- One string bag of recycled silk
- One piece of soap
- One nail clipper
Women Training Center
During the training, each woman receives a basic income. When the training is complete, they have the choice to continue working in the workshop with which they receive a fair wage and employment. The women also have the opportunity to implement their own business plan and start their own social enterprise using microcredit.