In an effort to eradicate the traditional practice of chhaupadi, in which women are banished to menstruation huts during their period, officials in Nepal on Wednesday, following through on a promise to crack down on the ritual, passed a new law criminalizing the already banned custom, the BBC reported. Under the new law, anyone who forces a woman to observe chhaupadi will face three months in jail and a $30 fine.
Banned in 2005, the traditional practice of Chhapadi is still very present in remote parts of western Nepal. The custom entails women being banished to cattle sheds or makeshift huts during their periods because of so-called “impurity.” The tradition stems from the belief that menstruating women bring death and destruction on their families. The huts serving as their temporary stays can be dangerous — just last month an 18-year-old woman died hours after she was bitten by a poisonous snake while hidden away in a menstruation hut, a tragedy that thrust the issue back into the spotlight.
The new law was largely met with applause from those opposed to the practice, but some wondered about its efficacy. One women’s rights activist, according to The Telegraph, said she is skeptical about how well the law can be enforced since the practice is related to a deeply entrenched belief system.
Read the full story at the BBC.