WHAT IS THE PROBLEM ?
The BASIC PROBLEM is – that women do NOT have access to sanitary protection. Most rural and low-income Nepalese women ‘free-flow’ or use extra old saris or old cloths with straw. Can you imagine how that must be?
The SADDEST PROBLEM is - that women in Nepal are ostracised, punished, shamed and blamed purely for menstruating – a natural biological necessity.
The ONGOING PROBLEM is HEALTH – or rather the lack of it!
Physical Health - Once a girl has started her periods, and especially after she has married and given birth, a rural woman will suffer aspects of ill-health all her life -
chronic sexual infections - pelvic inflammation - kidney infections - numerous urinary tract infections – diarrhoea - fertility problems – prolapsed uterus –
these are preventable and changeable – YOU can help - let’s change our world.
Freedom Kit Bags - tackles health problems preventing and reducing the occurrence of infections, immediately improves well-being and self-esteem.
Mental Health – women in chaupadi face shame leading to low self-esteem - they experience isolation with constant fear, especially at night, and endless worries about ‘breaking the rules’, all affecting the balance of a healthy mind.
Freedom Kit Bags - give dignity, improve self-confidence and self -esteem – immediately.
The BIGGEST PROBLEM is - Chhaupadi -and the thinking behind it.Practised for centuries but now illegal in Nepal since 2005 it is poorly policed and still widely practiced to varying degrees.
Chhaupadi - chhau meaning menstruation – padi meaning woman banishes a woman/ girl from her home driving her to live elsewhereduring her menstruation period, sometimes with others, sometimes alone. This could be an old goat/cow house: a hide in the jungle: a small cave:a wooden platform with little protection from the elements: a mud-hut: even a dug-out in the ground.If not put out of the house entirely, a married woman is required sleep away from her husband, usually on the floor, this in towns as well as villages.
Chaupadi – is more than this...
It makes women vulnerable - to the elements, they die from cold and exposure - to attack from wild animals, many die from snake bites, - to men, many are raped and molested
It requires women who have just given birth and still bleeding,and therefore is considered ‘unclean’. She and her vulnerable new-born baby are left to cope on their own for up to 5 days.
prohibits women from ‘touching’ foods, water, cattle or crops, or touching her husband or male members of the family; from entering the kitchen, all in case she ‘contaminates’ them and bring punishments from the Gods.
It requires her to eat only certain foods usually dry, usually rice and salt.
Freedom Kit Bags -
offer an immediate solution to coping with the physical manifestations of menstruation.
offer cleanliness, comfort and dignity – therefore not ‘unclean’.
mean there is no need to have to leave one’s house during menstruation.
Freedom Kit Bags can shake the foundations of chhaupadi – and change the world.