The Risky Lives of Women Sent Into Exile—For Menstruating
In Nepal, a traditional belief about the impurity of menstrual blood means women and girls are banished to makeshift huts.
“I am not happy. I do not want to get married. I hope my husband gets a job in a foreign city. Then I can come back to my mother’s home and stay for as long as I want to,” 12-year-old Anjali Kumari King told photographer Poulomi Basu. It is a popular belief in some areas of Nepal that if a girl is married before she begins menstruation, her immediate family will ascend to heaven. Child marriage and Chaupadi are linked, says Basu, as they both involve ideas around pre-and post-menstrual purity.