Journey To Impurity

  • Surekha poses for a portrait inside a “goth” during her first period. This little mud house was built up several years ago in order to keep menstruating women away from their own houses, a tradition called “Chhaupadi Partha”. For the first time in Surekha’s life, she will be considered impure and forced to live in this place for 7 days.

  • In most of the villages, women share the goth. These spaces are commonly not well ventilated, and during the recent years, more than 12 women have died by doing this practice. The most common cause of death is choking from the fumes during winter.

  • Menstruating women are not allowed to touch any cooking instrument or the tap water. They can only use a specific bowl to drink the water that the neighbors might put on it and a separated plate where neighbours throw the food. They can’t eat in community.

  • Suntala, a 19-year-old girl from a remote village of Nepal, poses for a portrait in the goth where she is forced to sleep when she is menstruating. “The first time I had my period I was very scared. It happened in the middle of the night, and I felt a lot of pain in the lower part of my belly”, she says. “I was forced to leave home and come here. My grandmother stayed with me the first night”, she says.

  • Menstruation is considered a punishment from the Gods for the women’s sins. Most of them believe that if they don’t follow this tradition, they will be punished with misfortune, diseases or even death.

  • Jagal Nagarjir, a 51-year-old local healer, performs a ritual inside a house in Achham. In most of the villages of the district, if somebody touches accidentally a menstrual woman, they have to pay the healer in order to receive a purifying ritual. “Every time I have touched a menstruating woman, the divine force inside of me started feeling sick”, Jagal says, “I even avoid passing by the menstrual hut of my village".

  • In the rural areas, especially in the West, most of the young men are working aboard in countries like India or Qatar. Despite women are banned from several activities during menstruation, they continue working on the field and feeding their livestock.

  • Surekha has perched upon a tree to eat some fruits. In some areas, menstrual women are not allowed to touch trees like the Peepal tree (a tree that represents the God Vishnu) and fruits.

  • The activist Gomati (left), teaches a class on menstrual hygiene, Chhaupadi and early marriage in a remote village in the Baitadi district. She has been working to change the stigma surrounding menstruation all over the country. With a growing Western influence, brought by widespread access to new technologies and to information, an increasing number of women are empowering themselves and trying to change this practice in the rural and the urban areas.

  • Surekha studies inside her house. In her neighbor village, the school is placed near a temple. Scared of insulting the Gods, menstrual girls usually don’t attend class. Hygiene conditions in most of the schools are not helping this stigma, and girls just stay home, scared of getting publicly shamed.

  • Surekha watches some Nepalese and Indian movies in her friend’s smartphone at her house. Her family is in India, where her father is working as a security guard.

  • In Kathmandu Valley, a growing number of women are re-interpreting this practice and trying to change it. A lot of them, which are from a rural background, has come to learn how can they do it, and then coming back to the same rural areas to implement it.

  • Menstrual Hygiene Day is celebrated for the first time in Kathmandu. The main motto of the day is “Education about menstruation changes everything”. Different actors perform various acts for encouraging women to maintain personal hygiene and to fight against Chhaupadi Partha. "I cannot even imagine the pain of women during their menstrual cycle", says one of the male participants.

  • An NGO called X-Pose in Kathmandu Valley celebrates an awareness and empowerment program in Lalitpur, Kathmandu, to train women how to make sanitary pads. Most of the women usually use old clothes as pads, and thanks to different local NGO's, they are implementing a more hygienic lifestyle during their periods.

  • In a village near Kathmandu Valley, Radha Paudel, a Menstrual Hygiene Activist, and author draw the feminine reproductive system on a blackboard at a class on Menstruation. She has been empowering women in rural and urban areas to fight against all forms of Chhaupadi for the past 10 years."I remember perfectly the first time that I had my period", she says, "I was terrified because, in my village, near Chitwan, all the women had to sleep in the cow sheds. I didn't want to, so that day I ran away from home". After studying Nursing at University, Radha has been helping, informing and empowering other women all through Nepal.

  • Swostika Sharma, a 15-year-old student from Kathmandu, draws during an awareness program that Radha Paudel Fundation has organized with the best art students of three different schools. The main activity is to do a drawing that illustrates the motto “Menstruation Is Everyone's Busines”. "When I have my period I sleep in my own bed, I do everything but to pray", says Swostica, "the only thing that makes it harder is the pain".

  • "Menstruation is my power and my pride" is one of the mottos of a cycle ride organized by a local NGO called X-Pose to celebrate the Menstrual Hygiene Day in Kathmandu.

  • The incoming of constant tourism along with the power of the new technologies are inspiring young Nepalese men and women to adopt a more “westernized“ way of life, and are finding ways to combining it with the old Nepalese culture.

  • Kabita, a 23-year old woman, lies in her room in a village in Kathmandu Valley. This little construction, separated from the main house, was built after the 2015 earthquake as a second house. Once the family returned to the old one, it’s purposed it’s been to provide a safe space for the women of the family to spend their periods in. Kabita works for an Organisation and takes care of the foreign volunteers that come in and out.

  • Anuja, a 20-year-old girl from Kathmandu Valley, is helped by her mother to wear a “Sari”, a typical female garment, before assisting to a wedding ceremony in the city. Despite in Nepal arranged marriages between the same cast are the most common system, love marriages are becoming more popular every day, especially in the urban areas. The age is also being delayed around 25 years old.

{"id":9817,"grant_id":9,"user_id":28411,"grant_submission_status_id":4,"grant_result_type_id":null,"cover_block_id":109249,"story_id":15130,"place_id":null,"title":"Journey To Impurity","excerpt":null,"excerpt_raw":null,"body":"<p>The first menstruation is a turning point for every young woman in the world. In Nepal, this entry into adulthood is tied to a loss of purity. According to the Hindu faith, is seen as punishment for all women. \r<\/p><p>In rural areas, menstrual women are exiled for a week, a practice known as Chhaupadi Partha. Some are forced to live among the wild stock to please the gods. When they are in their period they are not allowed to enter their houses, visit the temples or cook. Sometimes, they are not even allowed to look or talk to any male relative. \u201cI don\u2019t feel impure or untouchable. I can\u2019t believe that is going to happen every month in my life,\u201d confessed Surekha, from the Achham district, on her first menstruation.\r<\/p><p>So far this year, two women were found dead in the Far West on a menstruation hut. Dozens of women and girls have died in recent years from following this tradition, despite activists\u2019 campaigns and government efforts to end the practice. Women are constantly at risk of being bitten by insects and snakes or choking from the fumes in the small, non ventilated huts. \r<\/p><p>Although these restrictions have existed for decades, Nepali society is changing rapidly, with Western influence brought by widespread access to new technologies, steadily becoming more and more present in the everyday lives of its inhabitants. In August 2017, for the first time in the history, the country criminalized the isolation of the menstrual women with a three-month jail sentence or a 3,000 rupee fine ($30), or both, for anyone that forces a woman to follow the custom.\r<\/p><p>In Kathmandu, a new generation of young people is reinventing traditions, making them their own. Some women from the rural areas have started to question these practices and becoming activists. A growing number of them lead organizations and are empowering young girls in rural areas and teaching them about hygiene. \u201cI don\u2019t understand why women have to be impure. I believe that this is backward and that during these days we have such a special energy and power and we should take an advantage of it\u201d says Nashreen, a 25-year old activist from the Terai region that now is teaching other women that they can make their own rules.<\/p>","body_raw":"The first menstruation is a turning point for every young woman in the world. In Nepal, this entry into adulthood is tied to a loss of purity. According to the Hindu faith, is seen as punishment for all women. \r\n\r\nIn rural areas, menstrual women are exiled for a week, a practice known as Chhaupadi Partha. Some are forced to live among the wild stock to please the gods. When they are in their period they are not allowed to enter their houses, visit the temples or cook. Sometimes, they are not even allowed to look or talk to any male relative. \u201cI don\u2019t feel impure or untouchable. I can\u2019t believe that is going to happen every month in my life,\u201d confessed Surekha, from the Achham district, on her first menstruation.\r\n\r\nSo far this year, two women were found dead in the Far West on a menstruation hut. Dozens of women and girls have died in recent years from following this tradition, despite activists\u2019 campaigns and government efforts to end the practice. Women are constantly at risk of being bitten by insects and snakes or choking from the fumes in the small, non ventilated huts. \r\n\r\nAlthough these restrictions have existed for decades, Nepali society is changing rapidly, with Western influence brought by widespread access to new technologies, steadily becoming more and more present in the everyday lives of its inhabitants. In August 2017, for the first time in the history, the country criminalized the isolation of the menstrual women with a three-month jail sentence or a 3,000 rupee fine ($30), or both, for anyone that forces a woman to follow the custom.\r\n\r\nIn Kathmandu, a new generation of young people is reinventing traditions, making them their own. Some women from the rural areas have started to question these practices and becoming activists. A growing number of them lead organizations and are empowering young girls in rural areas and teaching them about hygiene. \u201cI don\u2019t understand why women have to be impure. I believe that this is backward and that during these days we have such a special energy and power and we should take an advantage of it\u201d says Nashreen, a 25-year old activist from the Terai region that now is teaching other women that they can make their own rules.","is_shortlisted":1,"is_strong":0,"is_ongoing":0,"is_unpublished":0,"sent_first_email_reminder":0,"started_at":"2017-01-01 00:00:00","ended_at":"2018-01-01 00:00:00","created_at":"2018-09-25 16:51:48","updated_at":"2018-10-25 15:07:51","place":null,"publications":[],"categories":[],"tags":[{"id":157,"tag":"portrait","created_at":"2015-12-07 17:05:38","updated_at":"2015-12-07 17:05:38","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":9817,"tag_id":157}},{"id":2966,"tag":"women rights","created_at":"2015-12-07 17:06:05","updated_at":"2015-12-07 17:06:05","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":9817,"tag_id":2966}},{"id":539,"tag":"human rights","created_at":"2015-12-07 17:05:40","updated_at":"2015-12-07 17:05:40","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":9817,"tag_id":539}},{"id":273,"tag":"women","created_at":"2015-12-07 17:05:38","updated_at":"2015-12-07 17:05:38","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":9817,"tag_id":273}},{"id":12372,"tag":"menstruation","created_at":"2017-09-19 16:07:29","updated_at":"2017-09-19 16:07:29","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":9817,"tag_id":12372}},{"id":17715,"tag":"chhaupadi partha","created_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":9817,"tag_id":17715}},{"id":51,"tag":"nepal","created_at":"2015-12-07 17:05:37","updated_at":"2015-12-07 17:05:37","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":9817,"tag_id":51}},{"id":78,"tag":"asia","created_at":"2015-12-07 17:05:38","updated_at":"2015-12-07 17:05:38","pivot":{"grant_submission_id":9817,"tag_id":78}}],"blocks":[{"id":109249,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218536,"position":-1,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:37","updated_at":"2018-09-26 13:48:36","caption":"Surekha poses for a portrait inside a \u201cgoth\u201d during her first period. This little mud house was built up several years ago in order to keep menstruating women away from their own houses, a tradition called \u201cChhaupadi Partha\u201d. For the first time in Surekha\u2019s life, she will be considered impure and forced to live in this place for 7 days.\r\n","caption_raw":"Surekha poses for a portrait inside a \u201cgoth\u201d during her first period. This little mud house was built up several years ago in order to keep menstruating women away from their own houses, a tradition called \u201cChhaupadi Partha\u201d. For the first time in Surekha\u2019s life, she will be considered impure and forced to live in this place for 7 days.\r\n","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218536,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfap3bc01fb281.jpg","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:37","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:37"},"story_block":null},{"id":109261,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218548,"position":0,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:48","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"In most of the villages, women share the goth. These spaces are commonly not well ventilated, and during the recent years, more than 12 women have died by doing this practice. The most common cause of death is choking from the fumes during winter.","caption_raw":"In most of the villages, women share the goth. These spaces are commonly not well ventilated, and during the recent years, more than 12 women have died by doing this practice. The most common cause of death is choking from the fumes during winter.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218548,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfaz6b70a920f3.JPG","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:48","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:48"},"story_block":null},{"id":109245,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218532,"position":1,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:31","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"Menstruating women are not allowed to touch any cooking instrument or the tap water. They can only use a specific bowl to drink the water that the neighbors might put on it and a separated plate where neighbours throw the food. They can\u2019t eat in community.\r\n","caption_raw":"Menstruating women are not allowed to touch any cooking instrument or the tap water. They can only use a specific bowl to drink the water that the neighbors might put on it and a separated plate where neighbours throw the food. They can\u2019t eat in community.\r\n","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218532,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfaj2ffc17c1b6.jpg","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:31","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:31"},"story_block":null},{"id":109260,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218547,"position":2,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:46","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"Suntala, a 19-year-old girl from a remote village of Nepal, poses for a portrait in the goth where she is forced to sleep when she is menstruating. \u201cThe first time I had my period I was very scared. It happened in the middle of the night, and I felt a lot of pain in the lower part of my belly\u201d, she says. \u201cI was forced to leave home and come here. My grandmother stayed with me the first night\u201d, she says.","caption_raw":"Suntala, a 19-year-old girl from a remote village of Nepal, poses for a portrait in the goth where she is forced to sleep when she is menstruating. \u201cThe first time I had my period I was very scared. It happened in the middle of the night, and I felt a lot of pain in the lower part of my belly\u201d, she says. \u201cI was forced to leave home and come here. My grandmother stayed with me the first night\u201d, she says.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218547,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfaydf4c817324.JPG","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:46","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:46"},"story_block":null},{"id":109251,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218538,"position":3,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:40","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"Menstruation is considered a punishment from the Gods for the women\u2019s sins. Most of them believe that if they don\u2019t follow this tradition, they will be punished with misfortune, diseases or even death.","caption_raw":"Menstruation is considered a punishment from the Gods for the women\u2019s sins. Most of them believe that if they don\u2019t follow this tradition, they will be punished with misfortune, diseases or even death.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218538,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfas573dd32e7e.JPG","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:40","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:40"},"story_block":null},{"id":109263,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218550,"position":4,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:52","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"Jagal Nagarjir, a 51-year-old local healer, performs a ritual inside a house in Achham. In most of the villages of the district, if somebody touches accidentally a menstrual woman, they have to pay the healer in order to receive a purifying ritual. \u201cEvery time I have touched a menstruating woman, the divine force inside of me started feeling sick\u201d, Jagal says, \u201cI even avoid passing by the menstrual hut of my village\".","caption_raw":"Jagal Nagarjir, a 51-year-old local healer, performs a ritual inside a house in Achham. In most of the villages of the district, if somebody touches accidentally a menstrual woman, they have to pay the healer in order to receive a purifying ritual. \u201cEvery time I have touched a menstruating woman, the divine force inside of me started feeling sick\u201d, Jagal says, \u201cI even avoid passing by the menstrual hut of my village\".","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218550,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfb42c016a1617.JPG","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:52","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:52"},"story_block":null},{"id":109253,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218540,"position":5,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:41","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"In the rural areas, especially in the West, most of the young men are working aboard in countries like India or Qatar. Despite women are banned from several activities during menstruation, they continue working on the field and feeding their livestock.","caption_raw":"In the rural areas, especially in the West, most of the young men are working aboard in countries like India or Qatar. Despite women are banned from several activities during menstruation, they continue working on the field and feeding their livestock.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218540,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfas4f6c014cb5.JPG","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:41","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:41"},"story_block":null},{"id":109262,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218549,"position":6,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:49","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"Surekha has perched upon a tree to eat some fruits. In some areas, menstrual women are not allowed to touch trees like the Peepal tree (a tree that represents the God Vishnu) and fruits.","caption_raw":"Surekha has perched upon a tree to eat some fruits. In some areas, menstrual women are not allowed to touch trees like the Peepal tree (a tree that represents the God Vishnu) and fruits.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218549,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfb15c7654aba5.JPG","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:49","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:49"},"story_block":null},{"id":109259,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218546,"position":7,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:44","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"The activist Gomati (left), teaches a class on menstrual hygiene, Chhaupadi and early marriage in a remote village in the Baitadi district. She has been working to change the stigma surrounding menstruation all over the country. With a growing Western influence, brought by widespread access to new technologies and to information, an increasing number of women are empowering themselves and trying to change this practice in the rural and the urban areas.","caption_raw":"The activist Gomati (left), teaches a class on menstrual hygiene, Chhaupadi and early marriage in a remote village in the Baitadi district. She has been working to change the stigma surrounding menstruation all over the country. With a growing Western influence, brought by widespread access to new technologies and to information, an increasing number of women are empowering themselves and trying to change this practice in the rural and the urban areas.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218546,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfavff5d3db894.jpg","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:44","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:44"},"story_block":null},{"id":109247,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218534,"position":8,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:32","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"Surekha studies inside her house. In her neighbor village, the school is placed near a temple. Scared of insulting the Gods, menstrual girls usually don\u2019t attend class. Hygiene conditions in most of the schools are not helping this stigma, and girls just stay home, scared of getting publicly shamed.\r\n","caption_raw":"Surekha studies inside her house. In her neighbor village, the school is placed near a temple. Scared of insulting the Gods, menstrual girls usually don\u2019t attend class. Hygiene conditions in most of the schools are not helping this stigma, and girls just stay home, scared of getting publicly shamed.\r\n","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218534,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfaj4eaa2f89dc.jpg","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:32","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:32"},"story_block":null},{"id":109252,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218539,"position":9,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:40","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"Surekha watches some Nepalese and Indian movies in her friend\u2019s smartphone at her house. Her family is in India, where her father is working as a security guard. ","caption_raw":"Surekha watches some Nepalese and Indian movies in her friend\u2019s smartphone at her house. Her family is in India, where her father is working as a security guard. ","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218539,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfar760f50913e.jpg","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:40","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:40"},"story_block":null},{"id":109244,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218531,"position":10,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:31","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"In Kathmandu Valley, a growing number of women are re-interpreting this practice and trying to change it. A lot of them, which are from a rural background, has come to learn how can they do it, and then coming back to the same rural areas to implement it.","caption_raw":"In Kathmandu Valley, a growing number of women are re-interpreting this practice and trying to change it. A lot of them, which are from a rural background, has come to learn how can they do it, and then coming back to the same rural areas to implement it.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218531,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfai98da4f64f7.JPG","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:31","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:31"},"story_block":null},{"id":109254,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218541,"position":11,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:41","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"Menstrual Hygiene Day is celebrated for the first time in Kathmandu. The main motto of the day is \u201cEducation about menstruation changes everything\u201d. Different actors perform various acts for encouraging women to maintain personal hygiene and to fight against Chhaupadi Partha. \"I cannot even imagine the pain of women during their menstrual cycle\", says one of the male participants.\r\n","caption_raw":"Menstrual Hygiene Day is celebrated for the first time in Kathmandu. The main motto of the day is \u201cEducation about menstruation changes everything\u201d. Different actors perform various acts for encouraging women to maintain personal hygiene and to fight against Chhaupadi Partha. \"I cannot even imagine the pain of women during their menstrual cycle\", says one of the male participants.\r\n","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218541,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfat852d639692.jpg","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:41","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:41"},"story_block":null},{"id":109246,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218533,"position":12,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:32","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"An NGO called X-Pose in Kathmandu Valley celebrates an awareness and empowerment program in Lalitpur, Kathmandu, to train women how to make sanitary pads. Most of the women usually use old clothes as pads, and thanks to different local NGO's, they are implementing a more hygienic lifestyle during their periods.","caption_raw":"An NGO called X-Pose in Kathmandu Valley celebrates an awareness and empowerment program in Lalitpur, Kathmandu, to train women how to make sanitary pads. Most of the women usually use old clothes as pads, and thanks to different local NGO's, they are implementing a more hygienic lifestyle during their periods.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218533,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfaj40c40e78ad.jpg","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:32","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:32"},"story_block":null},{"id":109256,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218543,"position":13,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:42","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"In a village near Kathmandu Valley, Radha Paudel, a Menstrual Hygiene Activist, and author draw the feminine reproductive system on a blackboard at a class on Menstruation. She has been empowering women in rural and urban areas to fight against all forms of Chhaupadi for the past 10 years.\"I remember perfectly the first time that I had my period\", she says, \"I was terrified because, in my village, near Chitwan, all the women had to sleep in the cow sheds. I didn't want to, so that day I ran away from home\". After studying Nursing at University, Radha has been helping, informing and empowering other women all through Nepal.","caption_raw":"In a village near Kathmandu Valley, Radha Paudel, a Menstrual Hygiene Activist, and author draw the feminine reproductive system on a blackboard at a class on Menstruation. She has been empowering women in rural and urban areas to fight against all forms of Chhaupadi for the past 10 years.\"I remember perfectly the first time that I had my period\", she says, \"I was terrified because, in my village, near Chitwan, all the women had to sleep in the cow sheds. I didn't want to, so that day I ran away from home\". After studying Nursing at University, Radha has been helping, informing and empowering other women all through Nepal.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218543,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfatb7676c84b0.jpg","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:42","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:42"},"story_block":null},{"id":109257,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218544,"position":14,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:43","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"Swostika Sharma, a 15-year-old student from Kathmandu, draws during an awareness program that Radha Paudel Fundation has organized with the best art students of three different schools. The main activity is to do a drawing that illustrates the motto \u201cMenstruation Is Everyone's Busines\u201d. \"When I have my period I sleep in my own bed, I do everything but to pray\", says Swostica, \"the only thing that makes it harder is the pain\".\r\n","caption_raw":"Swostika Sharma, a 15-year-old student from Kathmandu, draws during an awareness program that Radha Paudel Fundation has organized with the best art students of three different schools. The main activity is to do a drawing that illustrates the motto \u201cMenstruation Is Everyone's Busines\u201d. \"When I have my period I sleep in my own bed, I do everything but to pray\", says Swostica, \"the only thing that makes it harder is the pain\".\r\n","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218544,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfav6df6f54be7.jpg","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:43","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:43"},"story_block":null},{"id":109258,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218545,"position":15,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:43","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"\"Menstruation is my power and my pride\" is one of the mottos of a cycle ride organized by a local NGO called X-Pose to celebrate the Menstrual Hygiene Day in Kathmandu. ","caption_raw":"\"Menstruation is my power and my pride\" is one of the mottos of a cycle ride organized by a local NGO called X-Pose to celebrate the Menstrual Hygiene Day in Kathmandu. ","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218545,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfavcd801cf6e1.jpg","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:43","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:43"},"story_block":null},{"id":109250,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218537,"position":16,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:39","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"The incoming of constant tourism along with the power of the new technologies are inspiring young Nepalese men and women to adopt a more \u201cwesternized\u201c way of life, and are finding ways to combining it with the old Nepalese culture.","caption_raw":"The incoming of constant tourism along with the power of the new technologies are inspiring young Nepalese men and women to adopt a more \u201cwesternized\u201c way of life, and are finding ways to combining it with the old Nepalese culture.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218537,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfar34e3d6a8f8.jpg","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:39","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:39"},"story_block":null},{"id":109255,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218542,"position":17,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:42","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"Kabita, a 23-year old woman, lies in her room in a village in Kathmandu Valley. This little construction, separated from the main house, was built after the 2015 earthquake as a second house. Once the family returned to the old one, it\u2019s purposed it\u2019s been to provide a safe space for the women of the family to spend their periods in. Kabita works for an Organisation and takes care of the foreign volunteers that come in and out.","caption_raw":"Kabita, a 23-year old woman, lies in her room in a village in Kathmandu Valley. This little construction, separated from the main house, was built after the 2015 earthquake as a second house. Once the family returned to the old one, it\u2019s purposed it\u2019s been to provide a safe space for the women of the family to spend their periods in. Kabita works for an Organisation and takes care of the foreign volunteers that come in and out.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218542,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfat23eae5a464.jpg","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:41","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:41"},"story_block":null},{"id":109248,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218535,"position":18,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:34","updated_at":"2018-09-25 20:41:40","caption":"Anuja, a 20-year-old girl from Kathmandu Valley, is helped by her mother to wear a \u201cSari\u201d, a typical female garment, before assisting to a wedding ceremony in the city. Despite in Nepal arranged marriages between the same cast are the most common system, love marriages are becoming more popular every day, especially in the urban areas. The age is also being delayed around 25 years old.","caption_raw":"Anuja, a 20-year-old girl from Kathmandu Valley, is helped by her mother to wear a \u201cSari\u201d, a typical female garment, before assisting to a wedding ceremony in the city. Despite in Nepal arranged marriages between the same cast are the most common system, love marriages are becoming more popular every day, especially in the urban areas. The age is also being delayed around 25 years old.","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218535,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfamb70420de1d.jpg","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:34","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:34"},"story_block":null}],"cover_block_image":{"id":109249,"grant_submission_id":9817,"story_block_id":null,"image_id":218536,"position":-1,"created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:37","updated_at":"2018-09-26 13:48:36","caption":"Surekha poses for a portrait inside a \u201cgoth\u201d during her first period. This little mud house was built up several years ago in order to keep menstruating women away from their own houses, a tradition called \u201cChhaupadi Partha\u201d. For the first time in Surekha\u2019s life, she will be considered impure and forced to live in this place for 7 days.\r\n","caption_raw":"Surekha poses for a portrait inside a \u201cgoth\u201d during her first period. This little mud house was built up several years ago in order to keep menstruating women away from their own houses, a tradition called \u201cChhaupadi Partha\u201d. For the first time in Surekha\u2019s life, she will be considered impure and forced to live in this place for 7 days.\r\n","deleted_at":null,"image":{"id":218536,"filename":"\/users\/28411\/grant-submissions\/9817\/pfmfap3bc01fb281.jpg","created_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:37","updated_at":"2018-09-25 17:01:37"}},"user":{"id":28411,"firstname":"Maria ","lastname":"Contreras Coll","username":"MariaContrerasColl","can_skip_grant_payment":0,"is_unsubscribed_from_grant_emails":0,"disabled_at":null,"gender":"female","has_agreed_to_newsletter":0,"has_agreed_to_newsletter_at":null,"timezone":null,"is_legacy":0,"legacy_id":null,"accepted_tandcs_may18_at":"2018-09-25 16:51:20","last_logged_in_at":"2018-11-04 00:07:01","created_at":"2017-09-19 11:53:27","updated_at":"2018-11-04 00:07:01","deleted_at":null,"meta":{"follower_count":0,"following_count":0,"auth_user_follows":false,"auth_user_blocks":false,"is_photographer":true,"is_curators_pick_photographer":true,"is_editor":false,"is_admin":false,"has_payout_details":false,"payout_service":false,"photographer_cover":null},"awards":[{"id":3125,"user_id":28411,"name":"Eddie Adams Workshop","awarded_at":"2018-01-01 00:01:00","created_at":"2018-10-31 15:58:50","updated_at":"2018-10-31 15:58:50"},{"id":3126,"user_id":28411,"name":"Women Photograph Mentorship","awarded_at":"2017-01-01 00:01:00","created_at":"2018-10-31 15:58:50","updated_at":"2018-10-31 15:58:50"},{"id":3129,"user_id":28411,"name":"Click Grant","awarded_at":"2017-01-01 00:01:00","created_at":"2018-10-31 16:13:19","updated_at":"2018-10-31 16:13:19"},{"id":3130,"user_id":28411,"name":"Joop Swart Masterclass, nominee","awarded_at":"2018-01-01 00:01:00","created_at":"2018-10-31 16:13:19","updated_at":"2018-10-31 16:13:19"},{"id":3131,"user_id":28411,"name":"Lucie Foundation Scholarship, shortlisted","awarded_at":"2018-01-01 00:01:00","created_at":"2018-10-31 16:13:19","updated_at":"2018-10-31 16:13:19"},{"id":3132,"user_id":28411,"name":"Marilyn Stafford Fotoreportage Award, shortlisted and honorable mention","awarded_at":"2018-01-01 00:01:00","created_at":"2018-10-31 16:13:19","updated_at":"2018-10-31 16:13:19"},{"id":3133,"user_id":28411,"name":"Days Japan International Awards, finalist","awarded_at":"2018-01-01 00:01:00","created_at":"2018-10-31 16:13:19","updated_at":"2018-10-31 16:13:19"},{"id":3134,"user_id":28411,"name":"The Moscow International Foto Awards, silver medal","awarded_at":"2018-01-01 00:01:00","created_at":"2018-10-31 16:13:19","updated_at":"2018-10-31 16:13:19"},{"id":3135,"user_id":28411,"name":"XVIII Seminar of Photography and Journalism Grant in Albarracin, Spain, winner","awarded_at":"2017-01-01 00:01:00","created_at":"2018-10-31 16:13:19","updated_at":"2018-10-31 16:13:19"}],"publications":[],"profile":{"id":28392,"user_id":28411,"born_in_id":47437,"based_in_id":47437,"currently_in_id":47437,"nationality_id":166,"avatar":"\/users\/28411\/avatars\/owjccj6587c381c1.jpg","cover_image":"\/users\/28411\/cover_images\/owjcckd19cd2ae15.jpg","born_at":"1991-11-12 00:11:00","profession":null,"bio":"Is a documentary photographer based in Barcelona, Spain. Maria is especially interested in Gender issues, and how social structures can affect women\u2019s lives.\n\nwww.mariacontrerascoll.com","long_bio":"<p>Maria Contreras Coll (1991, Barcelona, Spain) is a documentary photographer and photojournalist based in Barcelona, Spain and Kathmandu, Nepal.<\/p><p>Maria became interested in photography at the age of 14 when she was given her first digital camera. She decided to study a Bachelor\u2019s Degree in Fine Arts in Photography at the University of Barcelona (2010-2014). During those years, she investigated the concept of happiness, unrealized dreams and people's hopes overwhelmed by the rush of urban life. Her documentary projects such as \u201cAh!\u201d and \u201cPersona\u201d were exhibited at the Catal\u00e0 Roca Golferichs center in 2013, and at the University of Barcelona in 2014.<\/p><p>After finishing her degree, she studied a postgraduate in Photojournalism (2015-2016) at the Autonomous University of Barcelona as a valedictorian. She spent the next year photographing intimate and personal aspects of the Refugee Crisis in Europe, traveling to affected areas such as Greece, France, Germany or Morocco. After that, she moved to Nepal in 2017 to work on a women\u2019s rights project.<\/p><p>Since then, her work has been published in Al Jazeera, Le Figaro or GEO Magazine among others. She has been a guest speaker at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and her work has been shown in places such as Getty Images Gallery in London or in the DocField Festival in Barcelona. Recently she\u2019s been selected for the Women Photograph Mentorship 2017-2018 and to attend the XXXI Eddie Adams Workshop. She was nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass 2018-2019, and won the Click Grant 2017 to continue with her work in Nepal.<\/p><p>Maria is an enthusiastic and creative person. She has the need to tell people\u2019s stories in a rigorous and well-investigated manner, capturing global problems such as the Refugee European Crisis from a very intimate and personal perspective. She is able to adapt to very different situations, always with the aim of photographing them in a very sensitive and truthful way. Maria is especially interested in Migration movements, in Gender issues, and in how social structures can affect women\u2019s lives in different cultures, religions, and countries. She is represented by Photographic Social Vision and UPIFC.<\/p><p><a href=\"http:\/\/www.mariacontrerascoll.com\" target=\"_blank\">www.mariacontrerascoll.com<\/a><\/p>","long_bio_raw":"Maria Contreras Coll (1991, Barcelona, Spain) is a documentary photographer and photojournalist based in Barcelona, Spain and Kathmandu, Nepal.\n\nMaria became interested in photography at the age of 14 when she was given her first digital camera. She decided to study a Bachelor\u2019s Degree in Fine Arts in Photography at the University of Barcelona (2010-2014). During those years, she investigated the concept of happiness, unrealized dreams and people's hopes overwhelmed by the rush of urban life. Her documentary projects such as \u201cAh!\u201d and \u201cPersona\u201d were exhibited at the Catal\u00e0 Roca Golferichs center in 2013, and at the University of Barcelona in 2014.\n\nAfter finishing her degree, she studied a postgraduate in Photojournalism (2015-2016) at the Autonomous University of Barcelona as a valedictorian. She spent the next year photographing intimate and personal aspects of the Refugee Crisis in Europe, traveling to affected areas such as Greece, France, Germany or Morocco. After that, she moved to Nepal in 2017 to work on a women\u2019s rights project.\n\nSince then, her work has been published in Al Jazeera, Le Figaro or GEO Magazine among others. She has been a guest speaker at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and her work has been shown in places such as Getty Images Gallery in London or in the DocField Festival in Barcelona. Recently she\u2019s been selected for the Women Photograph Mentorship 2017-2018 and to attend the XXXI Eddie Adams Workshop. She was nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass 2018-2019, and won the Click Grant 2017 to continue with her work in Nepal.\n\nMaria is an enthusiastic and creative person. She has the need to tell people\u2019s stories in a rigorous and well-investigated manner, capturing global problems such as the Refugee European Crisis from a very intimate and personal perspective. She is able to adapt to very different situations, always with the aim of photographing them in a very sensitive and truthful way. Maria is especially interested in Migration movements, in Gender issues, and in how social structures can affect women\u2019s lives in different cultures, religions, and countries. She is represented by Photographic Social Vision and UPIFC.\n\nwww.mariacontrerascoll.com","twitter_handle":"MContrerasColl","facebook_handle":"mariacontrerascoll","skype_handle":null,"google_plus_handle":null,"pinterest_handle":null,"instagram_handle":"mariacontrerascoll","vimeo_handle":null,"youtube_handle":null,"telephone":null,"show_explicit_content":"0","created_at":"2017-09-19 11:53:27","updated_at":"2018-10-31 16:22:15","currently_in":{"id":47437,"city":"Barcelona","region":"Catalonia","country":"Spain","country_code":"ES","continent":"Europe","lat":"41.38879","lon":"2.15899","verified":1,"created_at":"-0001-11-30 00:00:00","updated_at":"2015-11-27 21:50:44","name":"Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain"},"based_in":{"id":47437,"city":"Barcelona","region":"Catalonia","country":"Spain","country_code":"ES","continent":"Europe","lat":"41.38879","lon":"2.15899","verified":1,"created_at":"-0001-11-30 00:00:00","updated_at":"2015-11-27 21:50:44","name":"Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain"},"born_in":{"id":47437,"city":"Barcelona","region":"Catalonia","country":"Spain","country_code":"ES","continent":"Europe","lat":"41.38879","lon":"2.15899","verified":1,"created_at":"-0001-11-30 00:00:00","updated_at":"2015-11-27 21:50:44","name":"Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain"},"nationality":{"id":166,"name":"Spanish","created_at":"2015-10-18 15:21:27","updated_at":"2015-10-18 15:21:27"},"languages":[{"id":8,"name":"Catalan","code":"CA","created_at":"2015-10-18 15:21:22","updated_at":"2015-10-18 15:21:22","pivot":{"profile_id":28392,"language_id":8}},{"id":15,"name":"English","code":"EN","created_at":"2015-10-18 15:21:22","updated_at":"2015-10-18 15:21:22","pivot":{"profile_id":28392,"language_id":15}},{"id":44,"name":"Nepali","code":"NE","created_at":"2015-10-18 15:21:22","updated_at":"2015-10-18 15:21:22","pivot":{"profile_id":28392,"language_id":44}},{"id":48,"name":"Portuguese","code":"PT","created_at":"2015-10-18 15:21:22","updated_at":"2015-10-18 15:21:22","pivot":{"profile_id":28392,"language_id":48}},{"id":57,"name":"Spanish","code":"ES","created_at":"2015-10-18 15:21:22","updated_at":"2015-10-18 15:21:22","pivot":{"profile_id":28392,"language_id":57}}],"specialisations":[{"id":5,"name":"Social Issues","slug":"social-issues","created_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","updated_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","pivot":{"profile_id":28392,"specialisation_id":5}},{"id":6,"name":"Contemporary Issues","slug":"contemporary-issues","created_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","updated_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","pivot":{"profile_id":28392,"specialisation_id":6}},{"id":8,"name":"Editorial","slug":"editorial","created_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","updated_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","pivot":{"profile_id":28392,"specialisation_id":8}}]},"notification_preferences":[{"id":1,"preference":"new_message","label":"I receive a new message","is_disabled":0,"created_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","updated_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","pivot":{"user_id":28411,"preference_id":1}},{"id":2,"preference":"new_follow","label":"Someone follows me","is_disabled":0,"created_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","updated_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","pivot":{"user_id":28411,"preference_id":2}},{"id":3,"preference":"new_story_comment","label":"Someone comments on a story I published","is_disabled":0,"created_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","updated_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","pivot":{"user_id":28411,"preference_id":3}},{"id":4,"preference":"new_story_share","label":"Someone shares a story I published","is_disabled":0,"created_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","updated_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","pivot":{"user_id":28411,"preference_id":4}},{"id":5,"preference":"new_post_comment","label":"Someone comments on a post I made","is_disabled":0,"created_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","updated_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","pivot":{"user_id":28411,"preference_id":5}},{"id":6,"preference":"new_post_share","label":"Someone shares a post I made","is_disabled":0,"created_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","updated_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","pivot":{"user_id":28411,"preference_id":6}}],"mailchimp_subscriptions":[],"photographer":{"id":5533,"user_id":28411,"review_status_id":4,"curators_pick_review_status_id":4,"portfolio_url":null,"applied_at":null,"approved_at":"2017-11-27 17:27:01","curators_pick_applied_at":null,"curators_pick_approved_at":"2018-03-19 10:22:49","address_1":null,"address_2":null,"city":null,"region":null,"country":null,"postcode":null,"vat_id":null,"created_at":"2017-11-27 17:27:01","updated_at":"2018-03-19 10:22:49","deleted_at":null,"user_attributes":{"id":28411,"firstname":"Maria ","lastname":"Contreras Coll","username":"MariaContrerasColl","name":"Maria Contreras Coll","profile":{"avatar":"\/users\/28411\/avatars\/owjccj6587c381c1.jpg","cover_image":"\/users\/28411\/cover_images\/owjcckd19cd2ae15.jpg","nationality":"Spanish","currently_in":{"id":47437,"city":"Barcelona","region":"Catalonia","country":"Spain","country_code":"ES","continent":"Europe","lat":"41.38879","lon":"2.15899","verified":1,"created_at":"-0001-11-30 00:00:00","updated_at":"2015-11-27 21:50:44","name":"Barcelona, Catalonia, Spain"},"bio":"Maria Contreras Coll (1991, Barcelona, Spain) is a documentary photographer and photojournalist based in Barcelona, Spain and Kathmandu, Nepal.\n\nMaria became interested in photography at the age of 14 when she was given her first digital camera. She decided to study a Bachelor\u2019s Degree in Fine Arts in Photography at the University of Barcelona (2010-2014). During those years, she investigated the concept of happiness, unrealized dreams and people's hopes overwhelmed by the rush of urban life. Her documentary projects such as \u201cAh!\u201d and \u201cPersona\u201d were exhibited at the Catal\u00e0 Roca Golferichs center in 2013, and at the University of Barcelona in 2014.\n\nAfter finishing her degree, she studied a postgraduate in Photojournalism (2015-2016) at the Autonomous University of Barcelona as a valedictorian. She spent the next year photographing intimate and personal aspects of the Refugee Crisis in Europe, traveling to affected areas such as Greece, France, Germany or Morocco. After that, she moved to Nepal in 2017 to work on a women\u2019s rights project.\n\nSince then, her work has been published in Al Jazeera, Le Figaro or GEO Magazine among others. She has been a guest speaker at the Autonomous University of Barcelona and her work has been shown in places such as Getty Images Gallery in London or in the DocField Festival in Barcelona. Recently she\u2019s been selected for the Women Photograph Mentorship 2017-2018 and to attend the XXXI Eddie Adams Workshop. She was nominated for the Joop Swart Masterclass 2018-2019, and won the Click Grant 2017 to continue with her work in Nepal.\n\nMaria is an enthusiastic and creative person. She has the need to tell people\u2019s stories in a rigorous and well-investigated manner, capturing global problems such as the Refugee European Crisis from a very intimate and personal perspective. She is able to adapt to very different situations, always with the aim of photographing them in a very sensitive and truthful way. Maria is especially interested in Migration movements, in Gender issues, and in how social structures can affect women\u2019s lives in different cultures, religions, and countries. She is represented by Photographic Social Vision and UPIFC.\n\nwww.mariacontrerascoll.com"}},"review_status":{"id":4,"label":"Approved","status":"approved","created_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","updated_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31"},"curators_pickreview_status":{"id":4,"label":"Approved","status":"approved","created_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31","updated_at":"2015-11-30 18:49:31"}},"editor":null,"billing":null}}