KATHMANDU - The Nepalese parliament has successfully passed a law that criminalizes chhaupadi, a harmful traditional practice that sees girls and women banished from their homes during menstruation. Child rights organization Plan International welcomes the parliament’s decision to outlaw this discriminatory practice, but cautions that there is still a long way to go to eradicate it completely.
Sven Coppens, Plan International’s Country Director in Nepal, said: “The Nepalese parliament’s decision to criminalize the horrific practice of chhaupadi—a serious human rights violation against girls and women during menstruation—is great news for girls in Nepal. What they can eat, where they can go, what they can touch, and who they can interact with are all severely restricted when girls have their period, having a hugely negative impact on their lives. It not only causes them to miss out on school, but also makes them feel ashamed and unclean, puts them at an increased risk of abuse, increases their vulnerability to illnesses and sexual violence, and limits their beliefs of what they can achieve in life.
“As an organization working to advance children’s rights and equality for girls, we warmly welcome this announcement from the government as, over time, it will have the ability to change girls’ lives. However, changing the minds of those who enforce this practice will not happen overnight, so although this legal change is a step in the right direction, there is still a lot of work to do before it is truly possible for girls in Nepal to get the same chances in life as boys.”
Plan applauds the Nepalese parliament’s new law that criminalizes the tradition of chhaupadi, which banishes girls from their homes during menstruation.
NOTE TO EDITORS: Spokespeople are available for interviews.
Plan International has been working in Nepal since 1978, helping children in marginalized communities to access their rights to health, education, economic security and protection.
About Plan International USA
Plan International is an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls. Plan believes in the power and potential of every child. Working together with children, young people, supporters, and partners, Plan strives for a just world, tackling the root causes of the challenges facing girls and all vulnerable children. For more information, please visit PlanUSA.org.