They lit fires because it was freezing cold

Speaking of shame and disgust and fear around menstruation – it has killed another woman in Nepal.

A 21-year-old woman has been become the fourth person known to have died this year as a result of the illegal practice of chhaupadi, whereby menstruating women in Nepal are banished from their homes and forced to sleep in huts.

Parbati Bogati, from the western Doti district, is thought to have died from smoke inhalation while sleeping in a small, windowless hut. She was discovered by her mother-in-law on Thursday morning.

Thus women are banished at the risk of their lives because they are the people who grow new human beings inside their own bodies.

Just weeks earlier Amba Bohara, 35, and her two sons, Ramit, nine, and Suresh, 12, were found dead in a cowshed. Their deaths, in neighbouring Bajura district, prompted some people to demolish chhaupadi sheds in their village.

Both women are believed to have suffocated after lighting fires to stave off freezing temperatures. Campaigners fear January may have been the worst month for such deaths in recent years, despite government efforts to end the practice, which has been banned since 2005.

Disgust around women runs very deep.

Last year, penalties including a 3,000-rupee (£20) fine and a three-month jail term were introduced for those convicted of imposing the custom. However, chhaupadi, linked to Hindu religion, is deeply embedded in some parts of Nepal.

All the gods hate women.

The tradition dictates what a woman can eat, where she can sleep and with whom she can interact while she is menstruating.

“It has been followed from the very beginning, from their ancestors, so if they discontinue with that kind of ritual, they fear that the god will punish them,” said Dechen Lama, a lawyer at the Forum for Women, Law and Development.

The god will punish them for not punishing menstruating women.

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