Earlier this year, millions of women lined up to form a human “wall” of protest to call for gender equality in India. The story is one of many from our blog that we’re highlighting for International Women’s Day — dedicated to celebrating the achievements of women in all arenas: social, economic, cultural, political and personal.
To highlight the March 8 commemoration, here are some of the remarkable women and women’s movements we’ve covered over the past year.
On New Year’s Day of this year, somewhere between 3.5 million and 5 million women lined up on National Highway 66, a long stretch of road that runs along India’s western coast. The “wall” stretched out 385 miles.
The demonstration was planned to create awareness of gender equality — and to protest a religious ban that prevented women of menstruating age from entering one of the country’s sacred Hindu temples even after the Supreme Court ruled in favor of their entry on Sept. 28 last year.For Rakhee Madhavan, a 39-year-old teacher, and many other participants, the motive was not a political or religious issue but a deeply personal one that transcended the temple ban.
“I’ve heard so many older women say that they’re impure when they’re menstruating and it’s disturbing,” she says. “I didn’t want the impressionable young girls I teach to imbibe the same message. I wanted to be a part of this because I believe it’s time for awareness and for change.”
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