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How a woman and her children died in banned ‘menstruation hut’

A mother and her two children have been found dead after the woman was banished to a “menstruation hut”.

The Nepali woman had lit a fire to keep her and her two young sons warm in bitter winter temperatures.

All three are suspected to have died in their sleep due to smoke inhalation, officials told BBC Nepali.

The traditional practice of exiling menstruating women from the family home is banned in Nepal but it is still widely practised in rural areas.

This case is not the first tragedy to have occurred when women have been sent to sleep in the huts – a practice, known as chhaupadi, that was criminalised in 2017.

There have been several cases of suffocation and at least one teenage girl has died after being bitten by a snake.

Under the ancient practice, linked to Hinduism, women who have their periods or who have just given birth are seen as impure or as bringers of bad luck, and can be forced to sleep in huts or cattle sheds.

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