From Fear to Shame: Socio-Political Influences on Menstruation Practice in Dailekh, Jumla and Achham
Through the narratives of 48 women from Dailekh, Jumala and Accham of Nepal, we explore the menstrual practices of women under three distinct socio-political order–religion and mysticism; Maoist / conflict period and liberal democracy. These three socio-political orders have played crucial role in shaping the menstrual practices in Nepal especially in above mentioned three districts.
The paper also explores the strategies adopted by these socio-political orders to shape the menstrual practices and how the women have experienced and interpreted those pressure to abide or to change their menstrual practices. Drawing from these narratives our paper reveals the important dynamics of power, hierarchies within different centres of power and use of fear and shame to either subjugate or forcefully liberate the women but in both instances denies women from choice and from her own voice. The findings of the paper can be used to inform and shape the strategies adopted by current programs around Menstruation in Nepal which is still Kathmandu centric and have the tendency of “saviour complex”.