Nepal school expels 29 girls for ‘being accursed’

Thaindian News

April 25th, 2010 – 2:47 pm ICT by IANS

Kathmandu, April 25 (IANS) Less than a week after a religious leader in Iran said earthquakes were caused by women who were promiscuous and wore revealing clothes, a school in Nepal’s west has expelled 29 girls for “angering the gods” as they had begun to menstruate, a report said.
The Siddheswar Higher Secondary School in Doti, a district in farwestern Nepal, has expelled 29 girl students from its hostel because they had begun to menstruate, the Naya Patrika daily reported.

“The gods were angered (by the menstruating students) and began inflicting the others too with hysteria,” the hostel in-charge reportedly said. “So we had to expel them.”

Matisara Belawar, an eighth grader, had been staying in the hostel since last year, the tabloid said. Being differently abled, she was sent to the hostel so that she would not have to walk for long distances to go to school.

“After we went home during the vacation, we were sent word that we should not return,” she said. “How will I be able to continue my studies now?”

Five years after it was banned, Nepal continues to adhere to the infamous “chhaupadi” custom, a tradition that regards menstruating women to be accursed and unholy.

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Author: Leslie Carol Botha

Author, publisher, radio talk show host and internationally recognized expert on women's hormone cycles. Social/political activist on Gardasil the HPV vaccine for adolescent girls. Co-author of "Understanding Your Mood, Mind and Hormone Cycle." Honorary advisory board member for the Foundation for the Study of Cycles and member of the Society for Menstrual Cycle Research.