Tragedy

Nepali girl, 15, dies of possible suffocation in menstruation hut

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A 'chhaupadi house' in Nepal. (PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)

A 15-year-old girl from Nepal’s Achram district died after she was banished to a “menstruation hut” outside her home, Al Jazeera reports. Authorities are investigating the case, but suspect that Roshani Tiruwa suffocated on smoke from a fire she had lit to warm the hut.

The Hindu tradition of menstrual seclusion, known locally as chhaupadi, is based on the belief that menstruating women are impure and can bring disaster upon their families if they come into contact with the household.

Nepal’s Supreme court banned chhaupadi in 2005, and women have been known to protest the practice by burning their menstruation huts. But chhaupadi remains entrenched in certain parts of the country, particularly in remote hill areas.

Since 2007, at least eight Nepalese women have died in menstruation huts, with some of their deaths being attributed to animal attacks, diseases, and fires. Just last month, 26-year-old Dambara Upadhyay was found dead in a chhaupadi hut outside her home, prompting the government to consider enacting punishments for families that adhere to the practice.

Read more at Al Jazeera.

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