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Last Updated: Thursday, 15 September 2005, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Women hail menstruation ruling
By Sushil Sharma
BBC News, Kathmandu

Nepalese women
The women are kept in the cow sheds for four days
Women's rights activists in Nepal have hailed a Supreme Court order to end discrimination against women during their menstrual cycle.

There is a tradition in parts of Nepal of keeping women in cow-sheds during their period.

The practice is common in far western districts of the country.

The Supreme Court has ordered the government to declare the practice as evil and given it one month to begin stamping the practice out.

The court reached its decision on Wednesday.

'Not enough'

Women's rights activists say the court has upheld their right to equality.

Pushpa Bhusal, a leading lawyer, said it was a positive move in removing the traditional discrimination against women.

She warned however, that a change in the law alone would not be enough.

She said people needed to be educated against such a scourge of society.

Women in poor villages in much of western Nepal are forced to stay in dirty cow-sheds outside the home for four days during their monthly period.

They are often given unhygienic food and suffer verbal abuse.

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