Post-earthquake challenges to access to Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) services in the daily life of people in rural Sindhuli, Nepal and its impact on girls and women
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This dissertation is an attempt to explore how the WASH services in Bitizor, a rural village located in the Sindhuli district of Nepal, were impacted by the devastating earthquake of 2015. The study also tries to see the adverse effect faced by girls due to the lack of WASH services in schools in the aftermath of the earthquake. Further, it also seeks to explore how the cultural taboos and stigmas associated with menstruation jeopardize the lives of girls and women residing in rural areas. I have reviewed the previous literature on impacts of the earthquake on WASH, challenges faced by girls and women- menstrual taboos and practices, menstrual absorbents, Menstrual Hygiene Management (MHM) that act as a contributor to school-girls absenteeism in rural areas of low-income countries. As a qualitative research, the data was gathered mainly via interviews in the mid-eastern part of the central Nepal- Sindhuli District (Two villages of Bitizor). I have done 15 semi-structured interviews, out of which 6 were school-going girls, 3 medical personals, 2 local politicians, and 4 villagers. The finding of the research shows how a lack of WASH services impacts girls and women after the earthquake. The evidence suggests that girls and women experienced additional difficulties due to socioculturally constructed myths and taboos during their menstruation. They had to go through stigmatization, shame, embarrassment as menstruation is considered as “the topic of silence.” However, social perceptions have changed to some extent in the present situation- during the time I had an interview.
Master i International Social Welfare and Health Policy