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Bamboo Sticks and Social Justice

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Patriarchal oppression remains, to this day, a very serious and relevant issue. One of the heaviest areas of this oppression lies in Northern India, where women face a plethora of vicious issues, including spouse abuse, female illiteracy, severe caste segregation, child marriages, and much more.

Despite these ruthless injustices, an incredible group of women has risen in strong hopes of eradicating what they can of this oppression.

In 2006, a Northern Indian woman, Sampat Pal Devi, witnessed a man brutally abusing another woman. In her attempt to help the woman, she herself was abused as well. Instead of keeping silent, Devi returned to that man the next day accompanied by five other women, all equipped with bamboo sticks, and reciprocated his actions on him.

Word began to spread around the region of this event, and soon enough, Devi was organizing her own sisterhood of women seeking  to protect women. They named themselves The Gulabi Gang, and made the pink sari their official garb to resemble female strength.

Ever since then, The Gulabi Gang has assembled to oppose the injustices that take place in their region with their weapon of choice: bamboo sticks. Their official vision is simple and powerful: to “protect the powerless from abuse and fight corruption to ensure basic rights of the poor in rural areas and discourage traditions like child-marriages.”

Thanks to Devi’s act of courage nine years ago, there are now tens of thousands of these crusading women all throughout Uttar Pradesh in Northern India.

This astonishingly inspiring group of strong women epitomizes the vigor that comes as a result of women fighting side-by-side.

If you want to make a donation, check out The Gulabi Gang’s website at http://www.gulabigang.in/donate.html

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