An estimated 5 million women in India joined forces to form a human chain to protest gender inequality and a Hindu temple’s centuries-old ban on all women of “menstruating age.”
On Jan. 1, 2019, women in Kerala, southern India, joined to form a 385-mile (620km) “women’s wall” to protest the persistent barring of women from the Sabarimala temple, which has historically banned women aged between 10 and 50.
Suvarna Haridas, who took part in the human chain, told BuzzFeed News:
“It was electric! The excitement was palpable, everyone truly felt like they were part of a special moment in the history of our tiny wonderful state.”
The protest came amid a controversy surrounding women gaining access to Sabarimala shrine, a prominent Hindu temple.
Women of “menstruating age” were banned from entering the shrine but India’s top court overturned the ban in September. In spite of the court’s ruling, male protesters have attacked female visitors within the “menstruating age” and prevented them from entering.
On Tuesday, two women were able to enter the temple for the first time following the successful protest.
Watch the video below