What Life Is Like When Getting Your Period Means You Are Shunned
An Excellent article from Jezebel - well worth reading the entire piece:
There is not space even for one person to lie down, but tonight there will be three. Radha’s relative Jamuna is also menstruating, and she’ll be sleeping here along with her one-year old son. Still, Radha appreciates the company, as another woman is some protection against drunken men who conveniently forget about untouchability when it comes to rape. Although the stigma keeps women silent, rapes of women sleeping in these sheds are common enough to appear as occasional items in newspapers in faraway Kathmandu, and common enough for women to look down when they are mentioned. Also common are snake attacks. (I see three snakes there in three days.)
Sometimes there are four or five women in the shed, an unthinkable number. If the shed is that full, then girls and women must find other options. Up the field, I watch with disbelief as a 14-year-old girl shows me her sleeping arrangements for the night: the bare earth outside her family’s house, with only a mosquito net for protection. It’s only the third time she has had her period and already she is resigned. What can she do?