Nepal beefs up laws for women’s safety
KATHMANDU, Nepal — Nepal’s parliament has passed a bill that aims to improve the safety of women by strengthening measures against acid attacks and measures against the ancient Hindu customs of demanding dowry payments for marriage and exiling women who are menstruating.
The new law goes into effect in August 2018, with violators who force women into exile facing punishments of up to three months in jail or a fine of about $29.
Many menstruating women are still forced to leave their homes and take shelter in unhygienic or insecure huts or cow sheds until their cycle ends, though the practice — called Chhaupadi — was outlawed a decade ago. But without any assigned penalties, the custom continued in many parts of the majority Hindu Himalayan country, especially in the western hills.
While exiled in isolation, some women must endure harmful low temperatures or attacks by wild animals. Unclean conditions can also cause infections.