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It's Time For Nepal To Face Its Cruel Menstruation Taboo

Nepal outlawed forced isolation for menstruating women nearly two decades ago. But the practice continues, threatening the ability of many women to lead a normal life.

SUDURPASCHIM, NEPAL — Earlier this year, at the beginning of March, Sirjana woke up with a bad stomachache. It was near midnight, and the village — clusters of houses, about four dozen or so, sprinkled on the side of a hill, separated by terraced fields — was still. As per custom, the toilet was located outside the house, so she drowsily stumbled out of bed to use it. That’s when she realized she’d started her period. She froze, unable to re-enter her house.

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