Archive for Women’s Issues

Where a Taboo Is Leading to the Deaths of Young Girls – Nepal – The New York Times

By Jeffrey Gettleman June 19, 2018

“TURMAKHAND, Nepal — Not long ago, in rural western Nepal, Gauri Kumari Bayak was the spark of her village. Her strong voice echoed across the fields as she husked corn. When she walked down the road at a brisk clip, off to lead classes on birth control, many admired her self-confidence.

But last January, Ms. Bayak’s lifeless body was carried up the hill, a stream of mourners bawling behind her. Her remains were burned, her dresses given away. The little hut where she was pressured to sequester herself during her menstrual period — and where she died — was smashed apart, erasing the last mark of another young life lost to a deadly superstition.

“I still can’t believe she’s not alive,” said Dambar Budha, her father-in-law, full of regret, sitting on a rock, staring off into the hills.

In this corner of Nepal, deep in the Himalayas, women are banished from their homes every month when they get their period. They are considered polluted, even toxic, and an oppressive regime has evolved around this taboo, including the construction of a separate hut for menstruating women to sleep in. Some of the spaces are as tiny as a closet, walls made of mud or rock, basically menstruation foxholes. Ms. Bayak died from smoke inhalation in hers as she tried to keep warm by a small fire in the bitter Himalayan winter.”

Source: Where a Taboo Is Leading to the Deaths of Young Girls – The New York Times

David Lindsay:  I spent a month in Nepal, hiking around the Annapurnas. I had no idea that this was part of the culture I witnessed and visited.  Here are the top comments from the NYT that I recommended:

Carla
Brooklyn Times Pick

Curious the deep seated hatred of women and bodily functions, just as prevelant in western culture from the dark ages, to the Victorian era and now in 2018 where republicans are busy trying to defund women’s health clinics and outlawing abortion and birth control.
Misogyny exists in every culture and I think if boils down to men’s fear of female power given that they procreate. I can’t think of any other reason,

Phyliss Dalmatian commented June 19

Phyliss Dalmatian
Wichita, Kansas

Before anyone comments about a primitive culture, how is this different from the GOP trying their hardest to control Women’s reproductive lives, and health, in THIS Country ??? Just an updated version.

Maura Driscoll commented June 19

Maura Driscoll
California   Times Pick

As long as women and girls are considered “extra mouths to feed”, unwanted burdens on families that only value sons, oppression, forced marriages, underage marriages and condoned rape will continue. The ignorance of those who promote menstrual sequestration is astounding. It is not fear of blood, it’s FEAR of WOMEN and the power of procreation that upsets oppressors world wide. And it’s up to those very women, mothers, aunts, grandmothers, to say NO. (And it crosses my mind that the males in the household are perhaps the ones who should go live in the huts if they are so afraid…)

Posted in: Civil Rights, Nepal, Women's Issues

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