A Nepali woman has died after suffocating in a hut where she was banished during menstruation.
Parwati Bogati, 21, was found dead in the smoke-filled hut in Nepal’s remote western Doti district last week.
Dirgha Bogati, the chairman of the rural community, said she died of suffocation, the Kathmandu Post reported.
The young woman, who was discovered by her mother-in-law, had been forced to stay in a “menstruation hut” during her period, an outlawed but common practice in rural parts of the Himalayan country.
“She was excited about the next day as her menstruation would end. Poor child closed her eyes forever,” Laxmi Bogati told the paper.
“We suspect she died due to smoke inhalation and suffocation because she closed the door of the windowless hut and lit a fire on the floor for warmth during the night,” police officer Lal Bahadur Dhami said.
Menstruating women are forced to stay in a “menstruation hut” because they are considered untouchable by Nepal’s often deeply religious and conservative rural communities.
The practice has been criminalised by the Nepali government but people are often reluctant to give up on the long-held tradition.
They fear it will anger the gods if a menstruating woman touches a man or visits a kitchen or temple.
Parwati was staying at a nearby abandoned house because the village’s regular hut was crowded as three other women were already staying there.
Three weeks ago, a mother and her two sons died in similar circumstances in Budhinanda, another remote area in northern Nepal.
Laxmi Bogati wants the practice banned.
“No matter what, our society does not allow women to sleep inside home during menstruation,” she said.
(c) Sky News 2019: Nepali woman dies in hut after being banished during menstruation