The Women’s Wall of India

The Women’s Wall of India

On the first day of 2019, women of India made a human wall stretching across the state of Kerala. The 390 mile wall extending from Kasargod to Thiruvananthapuram was marshaled by the states left-wing coalition government, to raise awareness for gender equality. 

Not only did millions of women participate in the protest, thousands of men also stood parallel with the women, forming a second men’s wall.

The protest focused on giving women religious freedom – the ability to enter a sacred Hindu temple, the Sabarimala shrine. The temple was traditionally closed for women of menstruating age (from 10 to 50). 

A day after the Vanitha Mathil, two women were finally able to visit the sacred shrine with police protection. 

Two days after the Vanitha Mathil, right-wing protest groups started a hartal, arguing that women’s entrance would be against wishes of Lord Ayappa. The day ended with 745 people arrested, 14 injured and 1 dead. 

The ban was overturned in the Supreme Court in September. However very few women were able to visit the temple due to continual stone throwing protesters.

The human wall not only empowered women in religion, granting women the access to a sacred temple to pray, but also revealed the menstruation stigma. We ought to teach our next generation that periods are only a natural milestone in the development of girls – it does not make any women inadequate or less worthy. Each feminist movement is a small step leading to social change and equality. We are all liable for making our plant a better place for everyone.

My name is Jasmine Wei and I am a 14 year old girl living in Auckland, New Zealand. I was born in China and when I first came to New Zealand I was stunned by how much more conventional China is around ideas about sexuality and gender. For example, when I was back in China girls and boys had different activities in PE lessons, but when I came to New Zealand everyone would do the same thing in PE and I realized that girls can also play more aggressive sports such as basketball as well. When I was a kid people used to give me dolls and barbies, not trucks and dinosaurs. Actually I saw these things as the norm until coming to New Zealand and realising the unfairness and inequality. I believe that both females and males should have the same right to choose what they like regardless of their gender and should not be stereotyped to having certain behavioural traits due to their gender. I am also interested in LGBTQ+ rights and I really hope that I could help other girls all around the world to see that they are capable of high achievements in all areas through SHEQUALITY.