Menstruation and Impact on Empowerment

Globally, depending upon the areas of residence, school’s norms, parental guidance, media etc. few girls and women aware about the menstruation [1] where as many rural, tribal and even educated girls and women do not aware about the menstruation [2]. This kind of experience is very common in Nepali society even school going adolescent girls [3]. Nepalese community considered the menstrual blood as impure, dirty and contaminated that established by religious books, schools and informal institutions. As a result, girls and women are following multiple levels of restrictions during menstruation as common practice in Nepal. Among the development work, media in Nepal and beyond the word Chhaupadi is popular since MDGs (Millennium Development Goals) which as restriction during menstruation. The restriction during menstruation outlawed in Nepal since 2005 and there is law against any forms of discrimination, exploitation, violence during menstruation since 2018 (“Nepal Law Commission – NLC,” n.d.). There are schools of thought regarding the cause of practicing restrictions during menstruation. It has been in practice due to illiteracy, superstition and gender inequality revealed that the concept of impurity and poor menstrual hygiene impacted for Millennium Development Goal (MDG)-two on universal education and MDG -three on gender equality and women empowerment. Likewise, menstruation has multiplier effect for achieving the Sustainable Developmental Goals especially to goal five for gender equality.

Since the 2014, there are few studies started to take place in Nepal and globally that were most focused on hygiene. In Nepal,such studied conducted for the academic purpose as well as NGO’s intervention. Thus, the studies that encompass on consequences due to following the restrictions during menstruation is not available except some opinions in media and activism for instance for 2017, Jyoti Sanghera, a pioneer activist stated that the stigma during menstruation is violation of dignity including violation of several human rights [5]. The menstruation played a crucial role to bring equal position in holding power, participation in decision making at family and workplace [6].

In this connection, this study took place to provide the critical view on impacts of menstruation on empowerment of girls and women with following research questions:

i) What are restrictions practiced during menstruation? ii) To what extent, the education affects by the menstrual practice?, and

iii) What are the impacts of menstrual restrictions on empowerment?


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