End Menstruation Exile.

by Karuna Trust
End Menstruation Exile.
End Menstruation Exile.
End Menstruation Exile.
End Menstruation Exile.
End Menstruation Exile.
End Menstruation Exile.
End Menstruation Exile.
End Menstruation Exile.
End Menstruation Exile.
End Menstruation Exile.
End Menstruation Exile.
End Menstruation Exile.

Project Report | Feb 27, 2024
Equity for Girls

By Soph Stephens | Communications Manager

One of Karuna’s programme managers visited our project area in Nepal, this is what he had to share: 

I attended a convention of local priests and healers, to talk to them about Chhaupadi (menstrual exile), menstrual health and hygiene. Engaging the local priests and healers is a key part of the project, as a lot of the restrictions on girls and women relate to what they advise. Many also won’t serve families who do not abide by certain restrictions.   

On that occasion, I interviewed one of the healers of longstanding who was more supportive of the project, to try and understand his position. 

I have been a Dhami for 29 years. In the early days, people believed in the practice ofChhaupadia lot. There were a few reasons for that. Firstly, there was a lack of hygiene and cleanliness in the villages. Secondly, there was a lack of knowledge and education. Things are changing now. 

 Last year, through this project, a lot of us priests/healers were taken to a new place – Pokhara, in the mountains. We learnt a lot about their culture there and got to see the city. We ate some of the food there – different kinds of food, new kinds of breads etc.  

 But the main thing was learning about the other cultures. They had their gods and goddesses there. They also had their gurus – Buddhist gurus, and Hindu gurus. They spoke and we learnt a lot about their customs, especially how they don’t practice Chhaupadi. 

 Women are our own. We are born from women – we should help them. We saw that in these places girls and women could eat dairy products even when they’re menstruating. We should allow that here as well. 

It used to be that women had to stay in the Chhau sheds when they were menstruating, but these days in my village they stay inside the home, in their rooms. They eat there, they sleep there. They don’t have to leave the house anymore. And I haven’t seen anything bad happen as a result – no animals dying, no birds dying, no one getting sick – as was the belief of many people in the community. 

 Lots of priest-healers still think in the old ways. They take the principles of the old gods and holy spaces and apply them to the whole home. But I think it’s okay for women to eat dairy and stay in the home when they’re menstruating. If we’re men of God, we should look after people – after women – our mothers - first. Looking after people is the way to worship God. That’s why I believe, as a healer, that we need to look after women when they are menstruating. 

 I think things are changing and will change. Slowly but they will change.  

Thanks to your support discriminatory practices towards girls and women during menstruation are decreasing. 

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Organization Information

Karuna Trust

Location: London, England - United Kingdom
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @karuna_trust_uk
Project Leader:
Amoghamati Traud-Dubois
London , England United Kingdom

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