On January 1st, 2019, millions of Indian women took to the streets to make a stand for equality. 5 million women joined hands to create a ‘women’s wall’ in protest of one of India’s holiest sites.
Women were protesting the Sabarimala Temple’s ban on women of menstruating age being permitted to enter the temple. For hundreds of years, only men and elderly women have been allowed to enter the place of worship. But change could be just around the corner.
Two women in their 40’s entered the temple for the very first time on the 2nd of January. The women has to be escorted by police protection. Bindu and Kanaka Durga entered the temple, making history. Allegedly, the temple was closed for an hour after their historic visit so that the priests could ‘purify the space’.
Sadly, following their visit more violent protests broke out. The police even had to use tear gas to disperse the crowds.
India’s Supreme Court tore down the ban on women entering the temple back in September 2018. The temple banned women between the ages of 10 and 50 from entering. However, in the months following the court ruling, protests began breaking out by religious conservatives who disagreed with the court ruling.
Change could be around the corner thanks to the women’s wall
As a result, the country’s political parties are in disagreement over the ban. Still, it surely is a step in the right direction. As the ‘women’s wall’ peaceful protest shows, the women of India are ready for change.
There were so many women and there wasn’t even space for women to extend arms. If they had extended their arms, the length of the wall would have increased so much that women would be falling in the Arabian Sea. – Subhashini Ali
The ‘women’s wall’ was predicted to be made up of 5 million women. It spread approximately 385-miles across the southern Indian state of Kerala.
However, change for women is sorely needed in India
According to a Thomson Reuters Foundation poll, India was declared the most dangerous country in the world for women in 2018. The findings are made up of numerous factors, including cultural practices, child marriage, physical violence, lack of justice and human trafficking, to name a few. Consequently, it seems like the women of India are at breaking point. But they are ready to go about it peacefully.
America is the only Western country to make it into the top 10. It came in at number 10 on the list. Yikes, America, we need to do better…
This wall of women is a powerful show of unity, letting the world – and their country – know that they’re done putting up with gender-based violence.
Hopefully this show of women’s unity with the powerful ‘women’s wall’ will kick-start change within the country.
Today more than 50 lakh women built a 600 kilometres long human chain along the streets of Kerala to uphold gender justice in the face of severe oppression.The progressive people of Kerala took oath that #Kerala society can not be sent back to the old dark ages.#WomenWall pic.twitter.com/NDzmTWLePl
— Mayukh Biswas (@MayukhDuke) 1 January 2019
Maybe the future will be brighter for this young girl who watches the women, who unbeknownst to her, stand up for her future rights.