A day after millions of women stood together in the Indian state to form a nearly 400-mile-long human chain to call for equality, two women made history—and sparked protests and a call for a state-wide shutdown—when they entered the Sabarimala temple in the state of Kerala in the early hours Wednesday.
They were the first women to enter the holy Hindu site since a ban on women of menstrual age was lifted just over three months ago, as protests have blocked others from entering previously.
The women were identified as 42-year-old Kanaka Durga and 44-year-old Bindu Ammini, who told India Today TV that the two represented “the society fighting for gender justice.” Durga added, “We are not scared at all. We followed our legal right as women. We are 100 percent sure that we didn’t hurt people.”