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Safe menstruation instead of stigmatisation in Western Nepal

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Gender Equality


Western Nepal

Safe menstruation instead of stigmatisation in Western Nepal

What are the challenges?

The practice of chhaupadi regards girls and women as impure during their menstruation and just after giving birth.

Locked out of the house, they sleep in stables, have no access to public areas, are not allowed to eat certain foods nor have contact with men or animals during this time. Hypothermia, respiratory illness, rape and high maternal and infant mortality rates often result.

The practice is deeply rooted and difficult to address, further exacerbated by taboos regarding discussion and education about menstruation.
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What is the aim of the project?

The project aims to improve women’s health in Western Nepal and decrease discriminatory practices related to menstruation, helping to empower girls and women to live safely during their menstruation. 

Village communities and their religious leaders, traditional healers, and mothers-in-law are engaged with to encourage a change in their assumptions and attitudes, while health workers and administrators are trained in the local areas.
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What are the main activities?

  • Girls are trained around hygienic and safe menstruation methods and provided with menstrual hygiene kits.
  • Teachers are also trained, with education around menstrual health being integrated into the curriculum.
  • Women and mothers are supported to get regular medical checkups and learn to recognise medical problems by themselves.
  • Community meetings are organised in the villages to discuss women’s health issues.
  • Traditional healers and other promoters of chhaupadi are provided with exposure to safer and more informed practices.
  • Health posts and birthing centers are provided with improved equipment.
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