Over 1,000 women formed a human chain in Mumbai to express solidarity with the ‘Women’s Wall’ formed in Kerala as part of an initiative to uphold gender equality amid the row over entry of females of certain ages in the Sabarimala temple. On Tuesday, over 35 lakh women stood shoulder-to-shoulder across the national highways in Kerala, creating a 620 km-long human ‘wall’ from the northern end of Kasaragod to the state’s southern tip.
The ‘Women’s wall’ was conceived in the backdrop of frenzied protests witnessed in the hill shrine of Lord Ayyappa at Sabarimala after the Kerala government decided to implement the Supreme Court verdict, allowing women of all ages to offer prayers at the shrine. Extending support to the campaign, women from several organisations and social activists came together to form a nearly one km-long human chain from Dadar Chowpatty to Shivaji Park in Mumbai on Tuesday evening.
Sonya Gill, a member of the committee which organised the Mumbai women’s chain, said around 1,000 to 1,200 women from the megapolis and the neighbouring Thane district and Navi Mumbai town gathered at the venue to form the chain.
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“We gathered to express solidarity for gender equality and what our sisters were doing in Kerala. We are not following our old values and traditions where women used to be given due respect in all fields,” she said. A number of Muslim women also took part in the campaign and they carried banners with messages like “neither we are impure nor second rate citizens. Let’s unite against all sorts of discrimination.”