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Dublin: 7°C Wednesday 25 November 2020
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15-year-old Nepali girl banished for menstruating dies in a cowshed

Some Hindus view menstruating women as impure. The girls are sometimes forced to remain in a hut or cowshed for days,

A dilapidated hut in Nepal.
A dilapidated hut in Nepal.
Image: Shutterstock

A 15-YEAR-OLD girl has died in Nepal after she was banished to a shed because she was menstruating, under an ancient Hindu practice that has been banned for over a decade, police have said.

Some Hindus view menstruating women as impure and in parts of Nepal they are forced to remain in a hut or cowshed for days, a practice known as chhaupadi.

“We are investigating the case,” local district inspector Badri Prasad Dhakal told AFP.

We suspect that she died of suffocation from the smoke of a fire she lit to keep herself warm.

Under the practice, women are banned from taking part in normal family activities during menstruation and after childbirth, and can have no contact with men of the household.

The government outlawed chhaupadi in 2005, but Mohna Ansari of Nepal’s National Human Rights Commission said local leaders must do more to enforce the ban.

“We have a legal ban but the law enforcement forces have not been strong about implementing it,” she said.

“It is crucial for us to work to change the attitudes of the people and raise awareness against this practice.”

The BBC has named the victim as Roshani Tiruwa.

She was found by her father last weekend in a stone and mud hut in the village of Gajra, in Achham district, 440km (275 miles) west of Kathmandu in Nepal’s far west.

- © AFP, 2016 with reporting from Darragh Peter Murphy.

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