Sometimes it feels like we will never progress, that we are all just words and bark and no bite. Well, we think wrong because change comes slow, but it comes definitely. In a historic move, Nepal has criminalized isolation of menstruating women. Now, that’s definitely moving forward towards progress.
In a layman’s terms, it’s now a criminal offense to treat women as Untouchables while they’re menstruating. In Nepal, a custom called Chhaupadi was practiced that led to the isolation of women while they’re menstruating, all linked to Hinduism and treats them as untouchables for the same.
But the new law passed therein, prohibits such customs and makes it legally a punishable offense. According to reports, the new law stipulates, ‘A woman during her menstruation or post-natal state should not be kept in chhaupadi or treated with any kind of similar discrimination or untouchable and inhuman behavior.’
The women in different parts of the country were victims of inhuman treatment as well as were banished into tiny huts or cattle sheds because they were on their period. The custom entailed a total shut down on women during their menstruating cycles. As shocking as it may sound, it’s a harsh truth that we pass off as customs and traditions or values, keeping the women isolated just because they’re going through something very natural and out of control like menstruation.
We have the legal right to enter temples or any other religious places of faith, without any disparity of sorts, but in India, we’re still isolated or kept away from temples etc because it’s considered impure during the natural menstrual cycle.
It’s not the legal system as the Indian Supreme Court in a landmark judgment last year, has already upheld Indian women’s right to enter places of worship, during their menstrual cycle. We are fighting this banal prejudice against our society and its closed off mindset. This problem transcends the rural areas and communities, taking sanctuary in our cities and homes, where we are not allowed to do the same.
It occurs around us on daily basis, it’s our reality in today’s world. This is a belief we need to fight on our own!