'This is a natural process': Managing menstrual stigma in Nepal

Mary Crawford, Lauren M. Menger, Michelle Kaufman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Menstrual stigma has been demonstrated in many societies. However, there is little research on menstrual attitudes in South Asia, despite religiously-based menstrual restrictions imposed on women. To understand menstrual stigma in this context, we conducted qualitative research with women in Nepal. Nepali Hinduism forbids menstruating women to enter a temple or kitchen, share a bed with a husband or touch a male relative. During menstruation, women are 'untouchable'. There has been virtually no research on how Nepali women make meaning of these practices. The current study employed focus groups and individual interviews to understand how some Nepali women experience menarche and menstrual stigma. We explored how women describe their experiences and the strategies they adopt to manage age-old stigma in a rapidly modernising society where they have multiple roles as workers, wives and mothers. Participants reported they experienced menarche with little preparation, which caused distress, and were subjected to ongoing stigmatisation as menstruating women. They described coping strategies to reduce the effects of this stigma. This study provides a unique perspective on coping with menstrual stigma in South Asia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)426-439
Number of pages14
JournalCulture, Health and Sexuality
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Fingerprint

Nepal
Menarche
South Asia
Spouses
Hinduism
coping
menstruation
Stereotyping
Menstruation
Qualitative Research
stigmatization
Touch
Focus Groups
Research
husband
qualitative research
wife
experience
Mothers
Interviews

Keywords

  • attitudes
  • menarche
  • menstruation
  • Nepal
  • stigma

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Health(social science)
  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

'This is a natural process' : Managing menstrual stigma in Nepal. / Crawford, Mary; Menger, Lauren M.; Kaufman, Michelle.

In: Culture, Health and Sexuality, Vol. 16, No. 4, 2014, p. 426-439.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Crawford, Mary ; Menger, Lauren M. ; Kaufman, Michelle. / 'This is a natural process' : Managing menstrual stigma in Nepal. In: Culture, Health and Sexuality. 2014 ; Vol. 16, No. 4. pp. 426-439.
@article{4687825b57094b11ad7daef96e4827de,
title = "'This is a natural process': Managing menstrual stigma in Nepal",
abstract = "Menstrual stigma has been demonstrated in many societies. However, there is little research on menstrual attitudes in South Asia, despite religiously-based menstrual restrictions imposed on women. To understand menstrual stigma in this context, we conducted qualitative research with women in Nepal. Nepali Hinduism forbids menstruating women to enter a temple or kitchen, share a bed with a husband or touch a male relative. During menstruation, women are 'untouchable'. There has been virtually no research on how Nepali women make meaning of these practices. The current study employed focus groups and individual interviews to understand how some Nepali women experience menarche and menstrual stigma. We explored how women describe their experiences and the strategies they adopt to manage age-old stigma in a rapidly modernising society where they have multiple roles as workers, wives and mothers. Participants reported they experienced menarche with little preparation, which caused distress, and were subjected to ongoing stigmatisation as menstruating women. They described coping strategies to reduce the effects of this stigma. This study provides a unique perspective on coping with menstrual stigma in South Asia.",
keywords = "attitudes, menarche, menstruation, Nepal, stigma",
author = "Mary Crawford and Menger, {Lauren M.} and Michelle Kaufman",
year = "2014",
doi = "10.1080/13691058.2014.887147",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "16",
pages = "426--439",
journal = "Culture, Health and Sexuality",
issn = "1369-1058",
publisher = "Routledge",
number = "4",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - 'This is a natural process'

T2 - Managing menstrual stigma in Nepal

AU - Crawford, Mary

AU - Menger, Lauren M.

AU - Kaufman, Michelle

PY - 2014

Y1 - 2014

N2 - Menstrual stigma has been demonstrated in many societies. However, there is little research on menstrual attitudes in South Asia, despite religiously-based menstrual restrictions imposed on women. To understand menstrual stigma in this context, we conducted qualitative research with women in Nepal. Nepali Hinduism forbids menstruating women to enter a temple or kitchen, share a bed with a husband or touch a male relative. During menstruation, women are 'untouchable'. There has been virtually no research on how Nepali women make meaning of these practices. The current study employed focus groups and individual interviews to understand how some Nepali women experience menarche and menstrual stigma. We explored how women describe their experiences and the strategies they adopt to manage age-old stigma in a rapidly modernising society where they have multiple roles as workers, wives and mothers. Participants reported they experienced menarche with little preparation, which caused distress, and were subjected to ongoing stigmatisation as menstruating women. They described coping strategies to reduce the effects of this stigma. This study provides a unique perspective on coping with menstrual stigma in South Asia.

AB - Menstrual stigma has been demonstrated in many societies. However, there is little research on menstrual attitudes in South Asia, despite religiously-based menstrual restrictions imposed on women. To understand menstrual stigma in this context, we conducted qualitative research with women in Nepal. Nepali Hinduism forbids menstruating women to enter a temple or kitchen, share a bed with a husband or touch a male relative. During menstruation, women are 'untouchable'. There has been virtually no research on how Nepali women make meaning of these practices. The current study employed focus groups and individual interviews to understand how some Nepali women experience menarche and menstrual stigma. We explored how women describe their experiences and the strategies they adopt to manage age-old stigma in a rapidly modernising society where they have multiple roles as workers, wives and mothers. Participants reported they experienced menarche with little preparation, which caused distress, and were subjected to ongoing stigmatisation as menstruating women. They described coping strategies to reduce the effects of this stigma. This study provides a unique perspective on coping with menstrual stigma in South Asia.

KW - attitudes

KW - menarche

KW - menstruation

KW - Nepal

KW - stigma

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=84899451774&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=84899451774&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1080/13691058.2014.887147

DO - 10.1080/13691058.2014.887147

M3 - Article

C2 - 24697583

AN - SCOPUS:84899451774

VL - 16

SP - 426

EP - 439

JO - Culture, Health and Sexuality

JF - Culture, Health and Sexuality

SN - 1369-1058

IS - 4

ER -