Challenges of menstruation

For around 50% of the global population, menstruation is a natural process of the own body during the reproductive years. Still about 8.8 million women and girls in Nepal are facing complex challenges like superstitions, stigma and discriminatory practices during their menstruation. One of these practices is called Chhaupadi. Chhaupadi is an old tradition, based on social and cultural norms, where it is believed that women are “impure” during their menstruation. Meanwhile they are banished from their houses and social activities, staying in isolated “menstruation huts”. There they are exposed to dangerous conditions, that may cause illness and sometimes death (GIZ, 2018). Nepalese law criminalised this harmful practice in 2017. Sadly it is still widespread in mid- and western regions of Nepal. In the Mid-western mountains, 71.2 % of women and girls stay in Chhaupadi during menstruation (Central Bureau of Statistics, 2015).
Another challenge during menstruation is the limited access to (affordable) sanitary pads, sanitation facilities and water (Unicef, 2017). Only 40% of girls who had experienced menstruation are using disposable sanitary pads and 13.5% are using strips of old cloth and other unhygienic methods (S2H2P, 2016).