Tulasi Shahi of Nepal was just 18 when she died on Friday.
She spent some of the last hours of her life alone in her uncle’s cowshed because it was her misfortune to be born female.
Shahi was banished from the rest of her village because she was on her period, an ancient Hindu custom of shunning known as “chaupadi.”
Though the custom was outlawed in 2005, it is still commonly practiced in Nepal’s far western Himalayas.
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While Shahi was in the shed, a venomous snake bit her on the head and leg.
“She survived for seven hours after the snake bite but died because medical treatment was delayed,” local Mayor Surya Bahadur Shahi told AFP.
Her mother reportedly took her to a shaman in the village who could not help Shahi. Then the family took her to a health clinic that did not have anti-venom medicine. They couldn’t reach the hospital in time because of monsoon-flooded mountain roads.
“If she was given proper treatment, she would have survived,” Shahi’s cousin Kamala Shahi, a government health worker, told The New York Times. “She died because of superstition.”
The chaupadi custom prohibits women who are menstruating or just gave birth from participating in normal family activities, or having any contact with men in the home, because they are considered “impure.”
Young girls are even prohibited from going to school and eating certain nutritious foods, such as milk products, during their monthly periods, according to a 2016 documentary about the practice from the USA-Nepal Community Outreach Network, or UNCON, which is campaigning to end the practice.
Some communities believe women bring bad luck, such as illness and natural disasters, during their menstrual cycles, according to Britain’s The Independent.
Shahi is just the latest Nepali woman to die from chaupadi-related incidents, a practice that has been condemned by the United Nations and global health organizations because it’s cruel to women, according to The Washington Post. But the practice persists in some of the country’s most remote regions.
Women and girls spend days inside the sheds and huts, risky places for many. A report on the custom by the Pulitzer Center found that in 2010 alone women observing the custom were raped, while others died of hypothermia, severe bleeding and snakebites.
Two deaths at the end of 2016 were linked to the custom, including the death of a 15-year-old who died from smoke inhalation when she lit a fire in a hut to stay warm, according to The Washington Post.
A month earlier, Nepal’s prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal had called for an end to chaupadi after a 21-year-old woman died observing the custom. But so far, the Post reports, the practice has “survived global outcry.”
Shahi was the second teenager to die because of chaupadi in less than two months in the Dailekh district where she lived, CNN reported.
In May, 14-year-old Lalsara Bika died from a severe cold-related illness she contracted while she was in isolation, according to CNN.
Activists and officials working to end the practice worry that many deaths related to it go unreported and many more will come.
A 2010 study found that 19 percent of Nepalese women still practice it, with 50 percent observing it in the area Shahi lived.
“Our girls and women are dying and the state is turning a blind eye,” Nepali writer and menstrual rights activist Radha Paudel told CNN.