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Menstruation matters: Is Nepal breaking myths and embracing change?

Dec 12, 2023

Menstruation matters: Is Nepal breaking myths and embracing change?

Menstruation matters: Is Nepal breaking myths and embracing change?

Menstruation is a natural, biological process that transcends culture, race, and creed. Yet, in the heart of Nepal, remains shackled by archaic myths and age-old taboos. While some might argue that times are changing, the deeply ingrained superstitions associated with menstruation continue to haunt Nepali society, affecting women who bear the brunt of these stigmas. In a world where gender equality and women’s rights are championed, it is disheartening to witness women pay the price for an utterly natural cycle.

Society’s rigidity in the name of culture:
The prevailing cultural landscape in Nepal, steeped in tradition, has perpetuated different misconceptions, fueling the persistence of evil practices. It is disheartening that, despite claims of progress, superstitions regarding menstruation continue to influence Nepali society. This regressive mindset has left a scar on the nation’s fabric, instilled largely by its own women, further reinforcing the resilience of these stereotypes. The depth of society’s rigidity regarding menstruation is alarming.

It is a testament to the entrenched nature of these misconceptions that they have survived the test of time. As a woman, it is difficult to fathom how society can interpret menstruation, a fundamental aspect of the female body, as something negative.  The mere fact that the menstrual cycle is exclusive to women has transformed this natural occurrence into a problem, highlighting the inequality that still lingers in society. The discrimination that occurs even within families is perhaps the most disconcerting facet of these age-old beliefs. Loved ones, who are expected to provide support and understanding, instead turn into instruments of division. This schism reinforces the pervasive myths, wherein daughters, sisters, and mothers are suddenly treated as pariahs during their monthly cycle. The burning question remains – can we shatter the chains of these myths and prejudices? Can our society evolve and embrace new perspectives that foster inclusivity and equality?  The answer is not straightforward; it is a journey fraught with challenges, but one that is essential for our progress as a nation.

Time for change:
Today’s generation is, perhaps, better poised to embark on this journey of change. With access to information, education, and a growing desire for a more equitable society, we have the tools at our disposal to challenge age-old beliefs. The key lies in fostering open conversations, breaking the silence that has shrouded this topic for centuries, and building bridges between generations to facilitate a gradual shift in societal norms.

As we tread this path towards enlightenment, our society must embrace the fact that menstruation is a natural, biological process, rather than a cause for shame or impurity. In a world that champions gender equality and women’s rights, Nepal cannot afford to be held back by these archaic customs. The dawn of change is upon us, and it starts with us, the torchbearers of the future.

By challenging these myths, we not only liberate ourselves from the confines of ignorance but also pave the way for a more progressive and inclusive society. The question is not whether change is possible, but when it will become a reality. Let us be the generation that ushers in a brighter, more enlightened Nepal, where menstruation is no longer a matter of shame but a natural, beautiful part of life.