A 22-year-old woman was found dead this week in Nepal after being sent to a so-called menstruation hut by her family to wait out her period, the Kathmandu Post reports. Gauri Budha's family found her body after going to the hut to check on her. Her father-in-law says she had spent Sunday working on a farm "and seemed normal." He says "she had no complaints of any uneasiness." According to News18, the cause of death is not yet known, but villagers speculate Budha, a student, may have died from smoke inhalation after starting a fire in the menstruation hut to keep warm.
The practice of Chhaupadi, in which women are sent into isolation during menstruation, has been illegal in Nepal since 2005, and the Himalayan Times reports it was made a criminal offense in August. The district where Budha lived was declared a "Chhaupadi-free zone" two years ago. However, the practice still persists. Two other women from Budha's district were found dead in menstruation huts last year. (An 18-year-old Nepali woman banished during her period last July died from a snake bite.)