Enough is enough: India women fight to enter temples


Women have the right to be full participants of every part of society and life--professionally, with family, as well as spiritually--so we were heartened to hear of the recent push by Indian women to have the right to worship and pray in areas that use tradition to shut women out. Last month several hundred tried to enter the main shrine at the Shani Shingnapur temple in the state of Maharashtra, and though their effort was stopped that day, the movement has gained publicity and momentum. Read here and click through to learn much more about women worshipers in India and their efforts to be included in all areas of temple life, as well to fight stigma against things like menstruation.  bbc.co.uk - For centuries, temples and shrines in India have used "tradition" to keep women out, but now women are increasingly fighting for their right to worship, writes the BBC's Geeta Pandey in Delhi.

In recent weeks, the patriarchal managements of shrines that bar women devotees, have been facing unprecedented challenge.

Last month, several hundred women took part in a march from the western city of Pune towards the Shani Shingnapur temple in Ahmednagar district in the state of Maharashtra.

"Our aim was to enter the sanctum sanctorum of the 350-year-old temple which is forbidden to women," Trupti Desai, leader of the protesters and member of a local women's rights group, the Bhumata Brigade, (Women Warriors of Mother Earth) told the BBC.

Though they were stopped and detained en route, their spirited attempt succeeded in lodging their protest in the national consciousness.

Ms Desai decided to storm the temple after media reports in November said the temple trust had carried out a "purification ritual" because a woman had climbed the prayer platform and touched the deity.

Read the rest here.