Tag Archives: WaterAid Nepal

Nepal: School Sanitation, the neglected development link (video)

Photos from the opening of the photo exhibition. NGO Forum

WaterAid Nepal has produced this video as part of its campaign “School Sanitation: The Neglected Development Link”. Minister for Education and Sports, Gangalal Tuladhar, launched the campaign on 11 August 2011 by opening a photo exhibition at the Nepal Art Council, Babarmahal in Kathmandu.

Web site: WaterAid Nepal

Countering menstrual hygiene taboos in Nepal

A renowned contemporary artist is taking her form of menstrual activism to the streets of Kathmandu.

Ashmina Ranjit's performance. Photo: Cor Dietvorst

All eyes at the Alliance Française in Kathmandu were on Ashmina Ranjit when she entered the grounds in a dress made entirely of sanitary napkins. From a thin tube she squirted blood on the napkins, one at a time, folded them and deposited them in a waste basket. Besides her performance, the visual artist and activist had transformed the women’s toilet at the Alliance Française into an installation by fully covering its interior with sanitary napkins. Ashmina Ranjit’s performance took place on 12 March during the “Week of the Women” organised by the Alliance Française to celebrate International Women’s Day (8 March).

In many countries like Nepal, women are considered to be “impure” during their menstrual cycle and are prohibited to take part in social life. With her performance, Ashwina Ranjit attempts to remove the taboos surrounding menstruation. In her eyes, menstruation is a natural phenomenon that should be celebrated as a feminine force.

During Ashmina Ranjit’s performance, leaflets on menstrual hygiene management were handed out to the audience. Many girls who drop out of school do so because they do not have access to sanitary napkins and separate toilets, the leaflet said. Neglecting menstrual hygiene can also lead to chronic health problems. WaterAid Nepal and other local NGOs are raising awareness about the importance of better menstrual hygiene practices especially in rural areas. In 2009, WaterAid Nepal published a study on menstrual hygiene in four schools.

Meanwhile, Ashmina Ranjit will continue her own artistic form of menstrual activism. The next venue for her controversial performance will be the streets of Kathmandu.

Installation by Ashmina Ranjit. Photo: Cor Dietvorst