Chhaupadi practice in Nepal – analysis of ethical aspects
Shanti Kadariya, Arja R Aro
Unit for Health Promotion Research, University of Southern Denmark, Esbjerg, Denmark
Abstract: Chhaupadi practice, which is characterized by banishment of women during menstruation from their usual residence due to supposed impurity, is in existence in the mid- and far-western regions of Nepal. It has been criticized for violation of basic human rights of women and also for its associated physical and mental health impacts. Despite having been outlawed, it continues to exist due to illiteracy, superstitious beliefs, gender disparity and community endorsement of the practice. This article presents an analysis of the Chhaupadi practice from the perspectives of human rights and public health as well as ethical theories of liberalism and communitarianism. It is necessary to increase the ongoing social awareness among affected Nepali communities about the natural character of menstruating and the harmful practice of Chhaupadi in order to eliminate this violence against women while also addressing the community’s concerns.
Keywords: menstruation, ethics, communitarianism, liberalism, human rights, public health
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