Dorothy Khan (Nepal)

Dorothy Khan received her MS in Global Affairs from New York University, graduating with a concentration in Human Rights and International Law. She conducted field research on both registered and unregistered Rohingya women in the refugee camps of Bangladesh. During the summer of 2015, she traveled to Iraq to implement a self-designed project, aimed at empowering youth in the Duhok region of Iraq to become local community peace builders. In addition, she previously worked with urban refugees in South Africa, aiding them in navigating through difficult legal issues as they formally applied for refugee status. Her experience over the years in refugee rights, women's empowerment and human rights has imbued her with substantial experience working with disadvantaged populations throughout the world. Dorothy is also a recipient of a MA degree in Public Policy and and BA degree in Political Science from Stony Brook University. After her fellowship, Dorothy wrote: "Working with students in rural Nepal really changed me as a person and my outlook in life. Not only was this fellowship the most challenging experience I have ever had but it was rewarding and powerful, and I would do it again."

Difficulty menstruating in Nepal

05 Jul

No seriously, does that look like a gender friendly bathroom?

I have been dreading this day, but mother nature always shows up at the wrong time and place. Yes, menstruation is a natural process and it comes every month but when you are in a field where the bathroom has no running water, toilet paper or waste basket and smells like fresh feces all the time, things can get very difficult very quickly, the assistance of a plumber gilbert az is crucial. Just look at the image of the bathroom. Does it look like a place you want to sit in?

Changing pads is extremely daunting because there is no place to dispose of it. I had to carry around dirty pads in my bag for 5 days before I was back to Surkhet from the field where I threw it in the lake. I hate to litter but it was the only place I was able to get rid of it. This was one of the reasons that I did not even change pads throughout the day. Also, it was because there were no toilet paper to wipe myself and the water that was left in the bathroom to wash was often dirty and I was at a risk of getting an infection, therefore I drank as little water as possible to avoid the bathroom. Plus who wants to feel wet on top of the wetness that is already there. I mean at this point, it became apparent I was going to get an infection regardless of what I did.

Showering on my period was an even harder task. In order to shower, I had to go to a creek 30 minutes away from my hotel and shower fully clothed with other people around. This means, that I had the pad on when I showered. After showering, putting on clothes on a wet body was very comical and then going behind the tree to take my pad out and putting on a clean one and simply carrying it back with me was just adding to the list of many firsts. Perhaps it is these things that make everyone perceive girls as unclean and dirty. The problem is not the girls, but the lack of facilities to practice menstrual hygiene is.


My toilet above the mountains

Posted By Dorothy Khan (Nepal)

Posted Jul 5th, 2016


  • Rita

    July 20, 2016


    Thanks for sharing your personal experience Dorothy. The obstacles that you and the women in Nepal face are absolutely daunting. The lack of facilities is definitely a serious problem. While your fellowship with WRRP focuses on education for schoolgirls, could you tell us more about whether WRRP has a program on building more gender-friendly facilities or if you have learned anything about the reasons for this lack of facilities in western Nepal?

  • Kate

    September 27, 2016


    Oh man, and I thought I had it bad in middle school when I didn’t want everyone in the bathroom to hear me rip open a new pad! I have always had a hard time coming to terms with my menstrual cycle, not directly because of the “unclean” stereotype but really, it is difficult to feel clean when you’re uncontrollably oozing blood out of your nether regions. Plus my cycle was never that neat “every 7 out of 28 days” that they taught us about in school, which just made me bitter about the whole ordeal. I absolutely do not envy you for this experience!

  • Catalina Cielo

    October 4, 2016


    Thank you for talking so openly about your personal experience. Women should not be made to feel like a disease, especially when nature is having her way.

Enter your Comment


Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *