Bijoyeta Das is a freelance photographer and multimedia journalist. She has reported from Bangladesh, India, Nepal, Turkey and USA and holds a masters degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, Boston USA.
Das continues to document human-interest stories focusing on culture, women and migration. She started as a print journalist and now uses radio, videos and photos to tell stories.
Her work has been published in Deutsche Welle, Women’s eNews, WAMC Northeast Public Radio and All India Radio. Her photo story “Dreams of a Goddess” won the Silver Medal at the TashkentAle-2010 photo festival, Uzbekistan. Her short documentary film “Branded Girls” was a finalist and was screened at the 2011 Women’s Voices Now Film Festival in Los Angeles, USA.
TribalTruth.org is pleased to present Bijoyeta Das’s project entitled Women of Wester Nepal. Here is her project statement.
Women Of Western Nepal
Western Nepal is an impoverished and underdeveloped part of Nepal. Life of women is hard in the poverty stricken far western and mid western parts of Nepal. Few women go to school and often they are married off at early ages.
More than 600,000 women in Nepal suffer from uterine prolapse, where the uterus protrudes into the vagina, and causes major discomfort. There is a culture of silence; women do not discuss their health and sexual problems. They continue to suffer in silence. Many of these women cannot afford surgery or treatment.
In middle and far western parts of Nepal, Chhaupadi tradition is common. During menstruation and childbirth, women have to live in small sheds and are not allowed to enter the house. It is unsafe for women to live in the sheds. There are many reports of snakebites, sexual assaults, and attacks by wild animals, infectious diseases and malaria. The women belonging to Badi (a minority Dalit community) are known as hereditary prostitutes. They live in western and far western parts of Nepal. The name Badi is a stigma. However not all women are involved in prostitution. The government offered 15000 (150 Euros) Nepali Rupees to Badi families for rehabilitation. However, it is too little, say many women who continue to work as sex workers. But majority of them are fighting the stigma of being called hereditary prostitutes.
To see more of Bijoyeta Das’s work, please visit her website here
Tags: "Branded Girls", Badi, Bangladesh, Bijoyeta Das, Chhaupadi tradition, documentary photography, education, health, human interest, illiteracy, India, journalist, masters degree, migration, Multimedia, poverty, prostitution, stigma, Turkey, uterine prolapse, Western Nepal, women