Changing Experience and Interpretation of Menstruation in Nepal: An Intergenerational Perspective

This presentation seeks to explore changes in the lives of women in Nepal, including women’s self image, gender role and the relations between women and men during the last 50 years. It focuses on menstruation, which is a key dimension of gender and womanhood. This paper then relates such transition to the changing socio-economic processes and argues that a new womanhood is in the making in Nepal. Women are resisting menstrual exclusion, marrying late, and having fewer children than ever before. The change is particularly rapid in the lives of women of the younger generation. Young women, irrespective of ethnicity, caste, class and region of residence are more informed, educated, have experienced a higher level of public exposure and assertive than their mothers and grandmothers. This has resulted in the weakening control of the families including fathers and brothers, and mothers over their daughters and sisters, thus further weakening private patriarchy.

This presentation begins with a brief description of the transition in women’s lives in Nepal. It then reviews the key literature and empirical information on menstruation and identifies the research questions. It then introduces the study location and the women interviewed as well as the methods of data collection. This is followed up by a discussion of the key findings. The conclusion briefly engages in theoretical reflections on menstruation.

Light lunch served

About the Speaker:

Mira Mishra_0

Dr. Mira Mishra

Department of Women’s Studies, Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal