In India, two women defied a centuries-old religious ban by entering the Sabarimala Hindu temple, that had until recently been prohibited to women of “reproductive age.” A Supreme Court ruling in September overturned the ban, but Hindu nationalists, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s BJP party, had opposed the ruling, and other attempts to enter the temple had been blocked. This is women’s rights activist Trupti Desai, who herself was previously blocked from entering the temple.
Trupti Desai: “The entry of women in Sabarimala today is an historic win for us. It is a victory of the movement of equality, and it is a victory of women power, because after the verdict of the Supreme Court the protesters were opposing the entry of women, and today that protest has become unsuccessful, as the women have entered there.”
The women’s successful entry early Wednesday came hours after throngs of women took to the streets in Kerala to form a massive 385-mile human chain, protesting gender inequality and in solidarity with women seeking to access the holy site. The action, organized by the leftist government coalition in Kerala, brought out over a million people, according to some estimates.