Nepali woman dies in outlawed ‘menstruation hut’

Some remote communities in Nepal view menstruating women as impure and are forced to sleep in a hut away from the home, following a centuries-old tradition known as chhaupadi. (AFP)
Updated 03 February 2019

Nepali woman dies in outlawed ‘menstruation hut’

  • Chhaupadi was outlawed in 2005 but is still enforced in parts of Nepal, particularly in remote and conservative western regions
  • The practice is linked to Hinduism and considers women untouchable during menstruation and after childbirth

KATMAND: A Nepali woman has died of suspected smoke inhalation while banished to a hut during her period, police said Sunday, just weeks after the deaths of a mother and two children in similar circumstances sparked outrage.
Many communities in Nepal view menstruating women as impure and in some remote areas they are forced to sleep in a hut away from the home, following a centuries-old tradition known as chhaupadi.
Parbati Bogati, 21, was found dead in a smoke-filled hut on Thursday morning in the western Doti district when her mother-in-law went to check on her.
“We suspect she died due to smoke inhalation and suffocation because she closed the door of the windowless hut and lit a fire on the floor for warmth during the night,” local police officer Lal Bahadur Dhami said.
The body has been sent for autopsy, Dhami said.
Chhaupadi was outlawed in 2005 but is still enforced in parts of Nepal, particularly in remote and conservative western regions.
The practice is linked to Hinduism and considers women untouchable during menstruation and after childbirth.
Under chhaupadi, women are barred from touching food, religious icons, cattle and men.
Just three weeks ago a mother and her two sons in neighboring Bajura district died of suspected smoke inhalation while observing the tradition.
Their deaths prompted locals to demolish chhaupadi sheds in their village and local authorities to warn that services would be denied to anyone forcing their daughters and daughters-in-law to follow the banned practice.
Last year, Katmandu introduced a three-months jail sentence and a 3,000-rupee ($30) fine for anyone caught imposing chhaupadi.
Ganga Chaudhary, a lawmaker who was involved in the drafting of the legislation, said much more needs to be done to enforce the law and change social norms.
“We have realized that only legal provisions are not enough to end such practices. We need to focus on awareness and educating women,” Chaudhary said.


Donald Trump no fan of ‘Borat’ creator Sacha Baron Cohen

Updated 24 October 2020

Donald Trump no fan of ‘Borat’ creator Sacha Baron Cohen

  • Word of Baron Cohen’s latest outrageous ambushes on unsuspecting participants had spread like wildfire

ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE: Donald Trump said Friday he has not been a fan of Sacha Baron Cohen – even before a clip from the British comedian’s new Borat movie forced the US president’s lawyer Rudy Giuliani into an awkward explanation.
Asked about the clip – which shows Giuliani in a faked “interview” with an attractive and flirtatious young woman – while speaking to journalists aboard Air Force One, Trump said: “I don’t know what happened.”
“But years ago, you know, he tried to scam me. And I was the only one who said no way. That’s a phony guy. And I don’t find him funny.”
Trump said the incident happened about 15 years ago.
“To me, he was a creep,” Trump said.
The president did not provide further details about that encounter, but in a 2003 interview, Baron Cohen – playing the wannabe gangster Ali G – pitched a business venture to Trump: special gloves for eating ice cream.
Before the new Borat film’s release, word of Baron Cohen’s latest outrageous ambushes on unsuspecting participants had spread like wildfire.
On Wednesday, Giuliani issued an angry denial over the fake interview.
In the film, the encounter appears to leave the 76-year-old former New York mayor in a compromising situation, caught with his hands down his pants in the bedroom.
Giuliani said the scene was “a complete fabrication.”
“I was tucking in my shirt after taking off the recording equipment. At no time before, during, or after the interview was I ever inappropriate,” he tweeted.
“If Sacha Baron Cohen implies otherwise, he is a stone-cold liar.”
The comedian continued to poke fun at Giuliani.
In a video posted on social media, Borat himself leapt to his defense and accused the “fake news media” – a term often used by Trump and his supporters – of turning an “innocent” encounter into “something disgusting.”