After the custom of consigning menstruating women to outdoor sheds claimed three more lives, a new system of penalties offers hope of change
Chhaupadi, the practice of banishing girls and women to a hut or shed when they have their periods, is common in Dilu Bhandari’s village in Nepal.
But two months ago Bhandari, a 26-year-old mother of four, watched as her husband destroyed the tiny hut in which she had previously been sent to live once a month. The family had been told by local authorities that if she continued to observe the custom, they would no longer receive state food support. Forced to choose between a food allowance for her twin boys and abandoning the traditional practice, the choice was effectively made for them.