An 18-year-old girl has died in Nepal after she was bitten by a snake while banished to a shed because she was menstruating, under an ancient practice that has been banned for more than a decade, officials said.
She was banished to her uncle's cowshed as per the "chaupadi" tradition, a centuries-old practice common among Hindus in the western regions of Nepal, though it was outlawed in 2005. Some communities there consider women "impure" while they are menstruating. These women are prohibited from daily activities and left isolated in sheds with straw floors for the duration of their periods.
Tulasi Shahi was bitten twice on the head and leg by a venomous snake and died on Friday morning in western Dailekh district, according to local officials.
"She survived for seven hours after the snake bite but died because medical treatment was delayed," local mayor Surya Bahadur Shahi told AFP news agency on Saturday.
Some Hindus view menstruating women as impure and in parts of Nepal they are forced to remain in a hut or cowshed for day as part of a practice known as "chhaupadi".
According to local media, her family took her to the village shaman for treatment instead of taking her to a hospital.
Local police confirmed that a girl had died but were unable to provide further details on the cause.