Incident Reports

Employer discriminates women during Mensuration


Binda Kari (Name changed) of Dolakha, works at a  sweet shop in Kathmandu. When she started working there, her employer gave her leave during her mensuration for rest on a monthly basis, she took day off during her mensural cycle for couple of months.  Likewise, when she didn't take day off for a month, to take a bulk day off for personal work but then  she was questioned the next month, so she answered with the reason. She was criticized for not taking day off during the mensuration because the owner told her that the sweets were taken for the worshipping and she was considered unholy during the mensural cycle. The employer told the costumer would not come to their shop if they knew that the employee during the period touched the sweets. 

Anjana Basnet (Name changed) working as a domestic helper used to live in Shankhamul with her husband, son and daughter. Once her daughter was assaulted by the landlord because her daughter touched the basil plant during her period. She then left the rented place. In the federal capital Kathmandu itself, adolescents and women have been found to face untouchability and social discrimination during menstruation. Gunaraj Shrestha, the coordinator of the National Menstruation Network, says that many cases of women being deprived of human rights due to menstruation are found in Kathmandu. According to Shrestha, the carpet factories in Kathmandu have been pressuring menstruating women to stay on leave.

Likewise, the message of good wishes given by Nabil, NIC Asia and Citizens Bank during Rishi Panchami was strongly opposed.  Those banks gave the wishes to women saying that they should worship for purification if they made any mistake was made during menstruation. The banks apologized and corrected the message that spread hatred towards menstruation. 

Singer Sofia Thapa, who came into the limelight last year with her song 'Yaspaliko Teej No Brata Please', was brought into controversy by a song related to menstruation. Rights activists agitated against the inclusion of the word Chhaupadi in the song which was sung in folklore in the far-western tone. According to Radha Poudel, activist of Maryadit Mahinabari, the song spread the message that only the women in far-western tolerated the discrimination during menstruations. The singer refused the allegation made by the activists and told the song means no harm.  

In the previous year, the government started the activism to destroy all the Chau goth (place to shed for women during the mensural cycle), in 19 districts of Karnali and Sudurpaschim province. The statistics show that during this, 9500 Chau Goth. Gunaraj Shrestha acknowledges that far-western or rural-centric programs are being conducted to raise awareness about menstruation and end menstrual discrimination. 

 Article 168 (3) of the Civil Offenses (Code) Act stipulates that menstruation or maternity leave should not be kept in a hut or other discriminatory, untouchable or inhumane treatment. The law stipulates imprisonment for up to three months or a fine of up to Rs 3,000 or both.

Details and Impacts
Violent / Non-violent Nonviolent
Primary Form Public humiliation
Primary Cause Other types of GBV
Actor 1 - Number of people n/a
Actor 1 - Affiliations Citizen/Individuals
Actor 1 - Youth na
Actor 2 - Number of people n/a
Actor 2 - Affiliation (Target) Citizen/Individuals
Actor 2 - Youth na
National/Online Media