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Taking Control

April 16, 2009

I recently read this article in Marie Claire magazine about a group of women in India who are standing up for themselves in the face of deep poverty, corrupt officials, and an abusively patriarchal society. They call themselves the Gulabi Gang and they distinguish themselves by wearing pink saris (gulabi means pink). Most of the women in the vigilante group are from the lowest castes and they have banded together to fight back against the sexual and domestic violence that is rampant in their community.

Members of the Gulabi Gang learn to fight for themselves. (photo from

Although I don’t usually support the use of mob violence, these women’s lives have been scarred by so much violence that it must be satisfying to fight back. And the leader does admit that they are not resorting to violence means nearly as much now that they have established themselves as a force to be reckoned with. It is inspiring to see a group of women working together like this to reclaim their dignity and assert their right to be in control of their bodies and their lives.

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