Mother and her children perish after being forced to sleep in 'menstruation hut'
A mother and her two young sons have been found dead after being forced to sleep in a 'menstruation hut'.
The woman and her children, aged 12 and 9, were found dead in Nepal with authorities citing the cause of death as smoke inhalation.
Investigators believe the mother lit a fire to try and protect her children in the exposed and freezing environment.
The traditional practice of banishing women on their periods or who have just given birth from the family home has been banned in Nepal but some still continue to practice it in rural areas.
The banished woman has to spend days without access to cleaning facilities and sometimes food.
The practice, known as chhaupadi, was criminalised in 2017 after several cases where women died after being banished to these huts.
According to BBC News, the blankets wrapped around the family were partially burned and the mother had burn marks on her legs. Police have still to confirm the official cause of death.
As the practice that resulted in their deaths has been outlawed, the woman's family will also be investigated.
Under Nepali law, any family who forces a woman to observe chhaupadi could face a three-month jail sentence and a €23 fine, but many feel that this is not enough to deter traditional families from performing the cruel practice.