How the Women’s Wall in Kerala is Taking the Politics of #MeToo Forward

Gender

How the Women’s Wall in Kerala is Taking the Politics of #MeToo Forward

Illustration: Shruti Yatam

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round the time that Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of the biggest democracy in the world mistook gender inequality as a marker of “tradition” in the year’s definitive interview, women in Kerala decided to point out the irony. Almost five million women lined up on the streets across national highways in Kerala, from Thiruvananthapuram to the northern district of Kasaragod to form a 620-km human wall.

Around 4 pm on the first day of this new year, women from different walks of life – homemakers, women in hijabs, students, middle-aged women, teachers, farm labourers, doctors, actors, lawyers, and transwomen– stood holding hands for 15 minutes in a historic display of protest against India’s patriarchal culture. A culture that still bars the entry of women into a temple despite a Supreme Court order. A culture that encourages violent protests and shutdowns in the state. A culture endorsed by India’s Prime Minister.

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