Available translations: English العربيّة
News : Article

Commission urges police to act after deaths in 'menstruation hut'

Graphic: Commissioner Mohna Ansari

A mother and her two children have died of suspected smoke inhalation after a night in a windowless hut in western Nepal.

A mother and her two children have died of suspected smoke inhalation after a night in a windowless hut in the western Bajura district, local police said.

Many communities in Nepal consider menstruating women to be impure and force mothers and daughters to stay in sheds away from the family home once a month, The News reported.

Police said Amba Bohara, 35, fell asleep in the hut with her two sons, aged 12 and nine, after huddling around a fire to stay warm in the freezing winter conditions.

Local police chief Uddhab Singh Bhat told AFP the woman's mother-in-law opened the hut the next day to find all three dead.

"We are waiting for the results of a postmortem to confirm the cause of death, but believe they died of suffocation," Bhat said. "We are investigating."

The shunning practice, known as "chhaupadi", was outlawed in 2005 but is still enforced in some rural parts of Nepal.

Three months imprisonment and a fine of 3,000 rupee were introduced in 2017 for anyone caught imposing chhaupadi.

The National Human Rights Commission of Nepal said police needed to do more to enforce the law.

"Women will continue to die unless there are consequences for enforcing this tradition," Commissioner Mohna Ansari said.

Last year, a 21-year-old woman succumbed to smoke inhalation while banished to a hut and other women have died from snake bites.

Date: 10 January 2018

Source: The News


Image credits

  1. Commissioner Mohna Ansari - National Human Rights Commission of Nepal