Millions of Indian women have joined hands along the roads and highways of Kerala state on the first day of the year 2019 to send a strong message of gender equality.
The ‘Women’s Wall’ rally or Vanitha Mathil gathered some 3 million females from all ages and walks of life. The 620km human chain, multicolored from the women’s dresses, could be one of the largest in the world.
The protest was prompted by a row over women’s access to a prominent Sabarimala shrine in Kerala. The Hindu temple was historically closed to women of “menstruating age.” Though India’s top court overturned the ban in September, male visitors have since attacked female pilgrims. The latest incident took place several days ago when a massive crowd of male pilgrims tried to prevent two women of menstruating age from reaching the holy site.
The event lasted for 15 minutes, during which the participants pledged that they would “stand for equality for women,” “resist the attempts to make Kerala a lunatic asylum,” and “fight for secularism.”
READ MORE: WATCH Hundreds of men prevent two women from reaching shrine of celibate Hindu deity
5 million women participate in 385-mile-long (620 km) human chain in Kerala on New Year’s Day. Exceeded the attendance in the Jan 2017 Women’s March in Washington, DC. Defining moment for women’s rights in Kerala #Womenswallpic.twitter.com/AXrlQjZ2tN
— John Medamana (@JohnMedamana) January 1, 2019
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