5 million women uniting against gender inequality in India is a great start to 2019

A few days ago millions of Indian women started off the new year on an incredibly positive note, and we love it. According to BBC news, women from the Southern India state of Kerala united to form a 620km human chain.

The demonstration came after there had been protests against the decision made last year September to allow women to enter well known Hindu temple, The Sabarimala Shrine, which was out of bounds to women between the ages of 10 and 50 (this is considered the menstrual age range).

READ MORE: These are the 100 women changing the wellness scene

Protests soon erupted after the ruling, as about 2000 people were arrested after they had barricaded the temple to block women from entering.

Previously, women were not allowed in the temple since Hinduism considered having a menstrual cycle unclean. While other temples allowed women inside the temple when they were not on their period, the Sabarimala made no exception until recently.

READ MORE: Violence against women and children in South Africa is out of control – it’s time to empower yourself

According to this BBC article, the protesters argued that the new ruling that allows women into the temple goes against the wishes of the the temple God, who had apparently laid down strict rules "about the pilgrimage who seek his blessing".

They also say that the temple God Lord Ayyappa was a bachelor and had sworn to celibacy; hence the ban.

While a petition to enter the temple successfully resulted in the historical ban being lifted, only a few women had attempted to enter because of the protests with only two women nearly making it after being chased back by male temple devotees.

READ MORE: Here's a list of the 'first black women' that made history this year

While it is unclear how many women have entered the temple so far, we commend the five million women who united against gender inequality and became an example for billions of other women around the world. 

Their courage and unfaltering fighting spirit as well as reluctance to back down is exactly the type of energy we're looking forward to from brave women across the globe in 2019.

Watch the brave women of Kerala form the Women's wall here:

Sign up to W24's newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways. 

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Now that it's the New Year, what are you looking forward to?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
The vaccine arriving in SA
32% - 136 votes
Going back to the office/ campus
4% - 15 votes
Going on a trip overseas
10% - 44 votes
Nothing, I don't expect 2021 to be any better than 2020
46% - 195 votes
Treating myself to a shopping spree
2% - 10 votes
I'm planning a big party to celebrate as soon as Covid is over
5% - 21 votes