And you thought your period was rough: in the district of Achham, Nepal, women are ostracized each month while they are menstruating. During what is called “chaupadi,” a menstruating woman must stay in a small hut called a “goth” away from the village and her family. She’s also not allowed to use the same water as others or prepare food in the kitchen because she is seen as impure. All alone or with a few other women in the goth, women are extremely vulnerable to rape. Others have suffered jackal attacks, snakebites, or fire while trying to protect themselves from the elements of the Himalayas.
Because of these dangers, Nepal outlawed chaupadi in 2005. But according to The New York Times, because it’s a two-day drive outside of the capital of Kathmandu, Achham has yet to feel the effects of this change. Keep reading »
Nine-year-old Bhintuna sat smiling in jewelry and a red and gold brocade bridal dress as she held a tray of offerings, waiting for her turn to take part in the ritual that would wed her to a god.
The schoolgirl is just one of hundreds of Nepali girls set to take part in the rite that weds them to the god Vishnu over the coming month, a symbolic time of weddings according to tradition in this deeply religious, majority Hindu nation. Read more…
A condom by any other name — prophylactic, jimmy hat, raincoat, love glove, Trojan — is still a condom. But aren’t nicknames more fun? Personally, we like “French letters,” a British term, coined around 1856, which is even in the dictionary, making it totally legit. (We don’t actually call them that. We have enough problems getting dates.) But now we might have to start calling them “Nepalese letters” because women in mountain villages over there have started mailing condoms to their husbands who are working overseas. You know, “Please don’t sleep around, honey, but if you’re going to, slip one of these on, you lying, cheating scumbag.” Keep reading »