Friday, November 30, 2007

India's Pink Vigilantes

(Above: The Gulabi Gang)

If you're reading this and you're female, consider yourself very, very lucky. There are many parts of the world where girls and women lead much harder lives than most of us could ever imagine. Like the part of India known as Banda. There, women are rarely educated or allowed to work. Their marriages are often arranged when they're still children (sometimes as young as nine), and bridegrooms can demand large dowries before they'll accept the girls into their families. If a dowry isn't considered large enough, a girl can be severely mistreated, even killed.

But two years ago, a remarkable woman named Sampat Pal Devi formed an organization that seeks to protect Banda's women from violence and corruption. Known as the Gulabi Gang (Pink Gang), the group of female vigilantes gathers together whenever a little butt-kicking is in order. Wearing distinctive pink saris, the Gulabi Gang investigates and protests government corruption. They punish men who've abused their wives and teach other women self-defense skills.

While the Gulabi Gang is starting to make real progress, there's still a long way to go before women in Banda are treated with dignity. But Sampat Pal Devi is already one of my personal heroes.

Read more here.


Anonymous Maddi said...

there's a indian girl in my school who is engaged to a 30 year-old man in afganastan. its so sad that she has to go through with marrige at such a young age. it too bad the man doesn't live in banda, or she could join the gang

6:12 PM  
Anonymous ananka said...

All I can say is . . . wow.

6:18 PM  
Blogger Ariana said...

This gives me an excuse to wear pink!

6:37 PM  
Anonymous udon't need2knowmyname said...

O my gosh, that disturbs me that woman are treated like absolute trash in some places. I mean look at us, we log on here every day, from our computers in our warm loving houses, when across the globe girls are age are already married of and have no goals to work towards in their life. You should put these chicks in Kiki #3!

7:17 PM  
Anonymous nelie said...

luv the saris.

9:03 PM  
Blogger International Mastermind said...

I will wear all pink just for thier cause tommorrow! (Of course my kiki strike t shirt!) My hot pink cast will match it.

I was asleep during the surgery, and they decided to put a PINK one on my leg. I guess I am meant to help the Gulabis!

9:23 PM  
Anonymous ginnyweasley007 said...

wow that is soooooo awsome, maddi i feel really, REALLY sad for your friend, i hope in the end she doesn't have to go through with it, uggggg sorry but i feel really mad about this! people should marry if and who they want!!!!!

10:36 PM  
Anonymous udon't need2knowmyname said...

IM, what happened to you?

11:40 PM  
Anonymous Book luver said...

Thats so cool that they're DOING that!

2:15 PM  
Anonymous Patsee said...

Man, that's awful. I've heard about the arranged marriages, but not about being killed because of a small dowry. It must be awful for them, and there's no way that they can escape it.

12:10 PM  
Anonymous muffins4 said...

You go girls! I'm all for women's right, me being a women and all.

1:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tough guys don't wear pink. This notion must have been sparked by these crusading tough GALS!

1:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hmmm... Thats so rad!A great book (Homeless Bird) is about a girl who at a very young age (but not as young as 9) gets married and not soon after becomes a widow and after that gets abandoned in a large city and then she has to wear white all the time because shes a widow and then she doesnt wear white and then she meets this guy and then they get married and its really sweet and I am now exhausted. :P

2:17 PM  
Anonymous sad girl said...

GO Sampat!

4:54 PM  

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