Dignity for Women - Ending Chhaupadi: Safe menstruation instead of stigmatisation and exclusion and access to reproductive health in Western Nepal
The Dignity for Women Project launched in September 2021 and is projected to terminate in December 2024 after a 40 month period. It aims to make gatekeepers more aware of risks, help women practise safer Chhaupadi, and start to influence social norms so that women can choose less harmful practices whilst still retaining their cultural/ religious traditions. In partnership with local health facilities and rural administrations, the project also aims to develop better positioned and more targeted Sexual and Reproductive Health (SRH) services and to provide these services on a sustainable basis.
The project partners have identified four central fields with a need for action: 1. Chhaupadi Practices
2. Demand for Healthcare
3. Health Services
4. Health education and WASH infrastructure in schools
Aims and Objectives
This project aims to reduce incidents related to Chhaupadi practices for women and girls, and help them access better nutrition and health, social support and access to education during menstruation.
1. Provide 3000 women and girls with differentiated information about menstruation as a natural process.
2. Work in consensus with all stakeholders to address harmful practices, gaining influence from gatekeepers to change them.
3. Offer women the choice to experience menstruation within current social norms or move beyond them.
4. Result in safe Chhaupadi for most women, and discrimination free menstruation for those who choose it.
Target Population and Beneficiaries
The project is being implemented in Khaptad Chhanna Rural Municipality of Bajhang and Khaptad Chhededaha Rural Municipality of Bajura in Sudur Paschim province of Nepal. Two wards in each district were selected for the project as areas where Chhaupadi is most prevalent. The main caste and ethnic groups are Chhetri/Brahmin and Dalit, with Dalits still being discriminated against as untouchable. The area has 16 secondary schools of which none currently meet the minimum standards of cleanliness and WASH facilities. In the four health posts in the project area, basic equipment for basic medical care is available, but some beds and equipment are broken and need to be replaced. Elected local bodies at Rural Municipality level have more powers to control health budgets, but are unable to use them in a targeted manner to benefit women's health due to ignorance. Chhaupadi prevention activities currently receive little or no specific funding.
This project works with different actors to promote change: with girls and women, village communities, ‘gatekeepers’ and ‘key influencers’, and local district and health administration stakeholders. The project is initiated in three phases:
● Phase 1 - Collaborative research phase using ethnographic methods ● Phase 2 - Personal stories gathered and consensus building
● Phase 3 - Implementation of programmes, awareness raising and training 3
1. 3000 women in target areas to exercise greater choice in menstrual practice leading to improved health outcomes and increased opportunities to participate in their community.
2. 75% of community members, including gatekeepers, accept changes to menstrual practices.
3. We expect these changes to contribute to longer-term attitudinal shifts leading to greater gender equality, dignity and freedom from discrimination for women in rural communities.
Amoghamati, Susanne Traud-Dubois, Project Manager; Karuna Deutschland Email: email@example.com
Ram Chandra Silwal, Country Director; Green Tara Nepal,
GPO 8974, CPC 158,
Metropolish-4, Baluwatar, Kathmandu
Bhim Bdr. Bogati, Chief Executive Director;
Rural Education and Environment Development Center
GPO 8260, Anamnagar, Kathmandu, Nepal
GPO 8260, Nepal