purdah \PUR-duh\ (noun) - 1 : A curtain, screen, or veil shielding women from the sight of men or strangers in Hindu and Muslim communities. 2 : A striped cotton cloth from which a curtain is made, often blue and white. 3 : The system of secluding Hindu or Muslim women. 4 : A state of seclusion or concealment; social seclusion.
'Weaned on royal jelly, on honey, still the queen's life a self- determined purdah, lived within the sheath of the hive, invisible to all but her sisters." -- Kate Moses, 'Wintering'
Purdah is from Urdu, from Persian pardah, curtain, veil.