December 30th, 2016
Restrictions and stigma surrounding menstruation are common in the country. Religion has not been a barrier for the idea that menstruation makes a woman’s body ‘impure’. The idea that has led to restrictions for women to enter religious places in many parts of the country. While the judiciary has upheld women’s right to equality in cases of Shani Shingnapur, Haji Ali and Sabarimala, where women were denied entry to religious sites, the practice continues across the country.
Video Volunteer Correspondent Rohini Pawar found out that women in a Maharashtrian village were also denied entry into the temple. She decided to address the issue. Rohini felt that denying women the entry to any place is a violation of her right to equality. And so she took this up first with the community members and then with the temple authorities.
She realised while speaking with the women in the community, that they never protested such rules for fear of backlash. She recorded her observations and screened the video for the community members as well as local NGOs. They petitioned to the temple authorities to revoke this rule. And with persistence, this 300-year-old practice was not only challenged, but also changed. Women in the village of Veer, Maharashtra can now enter the inner sanctum of the temple in the village.
This video compilation is a part of Video Volunteers gender campaign #KhelBadal – Dismantle Patriarchy. The campaign is taking on patriarchy through stories of women and men who face, negotiate and challenge patriarchy in everyday life — at home, at work, at school, in cultural and public spaces. Know more here.