In this photo taken on February 3, 2017, Nepalese woman Yum Kumari Giri looks at a Chhaupadi hut during her menstrual period, in Surkhet District, some 520km west of Kathmandu.
(PRAKASH MATHEMA/AFP/Getty Images)
A 21-year-old Nepalese woman died by suffocation in a rough “menstruation hut” after a fire in the windowless room to keep warm, police said.
Parwati Bogati’s lifeless body was found when her mother-in-law went to check on her.
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“She was excited about the next day when her period would end,” Laxmi Bogati told the Kathmandu Post. “Poor child closed her eyes for always.”
“We suspect that she died as a result of smoke inhalation and suffocation as they closed the door of the windowless hut and a fire on the floor for warmth during the night,” Lal Bahadur Dami, a local police officer, told AFP.
The old – and illegal – practice known as Chhaupadi banishes women out of their homes and every month when they have their period.
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The women are considered as dirty, impure and toxic and are required to stay away from the others in the village. This means that they are often relegated to sleeping on the edge of the village or in the areas as small as a closet. Most of the huts are made of mud and the women often try to build a fire to keep you warm in the bitterly cold Himalayan winter.
The women in the cabins can also be exposed to criminal attacks, the BBC reported. There are also multiple cases of suffocation and a teenage girl was killed after being bitten by a snake.
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The horrifying incident comes only a few weeks after a mother and her two sons died in a similar barn. That incident prompted officials in bajura foundation to give villagers 10 days to break the menstrual huts or legal action will be taken.