Posted by: ae | March 24, 2010

Newsmakers: The Gulabi Gang or the Gang of the Pink Saris

The Pink Gang

The Gulabi Gang, or the Gang of the Pink Saris is a group of Indian women who exact revenge on men and officials for their intolerable behaviour against the Dalits, or the untouchables.

Symbol of rural women's changing roles

Indian women born into the Dalit caste are often subject to abandonment, rape, and domestic abuse at the hands of upper-caste men. Police have failed to protect these women, who have taken their community’s safety into their own hands.

From BBC News: “Nobody comes to our help in these parts.The officials and the police are corrupt and anti-poor. So sometimes we have to take the law into our hands. At other times, we prefer to shame the wrongdoers,” says Sampat Pal Devi [Leader of the Gulabi Gang].

Gulabi women with lathis

The Gulabi women carry lathis, a stick-like weapon, which they use to stand up for themselves and others. They are not fighting for a handout, but to earn dignity and respect from officials. They want to challenge the dominant gender and class roles, which are oppressive to the Dalits. For women, leader Sampat Pal Devi says that education is the most important path to women’s independence.

Read more: BBC News, India’s ‘Pink’ Vigilante Women

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Responses

  1. This blog is very empowering. I have seen some documentaries on the oppression of rural people in developing countries. It is wonderful to see these Gulabi women stand up for their rights. Hopefully, officials will take up their cause and recognize their safety as a priority.

    • Thanks ladies!

  2. Great post, Amanda! You are one kickass feminist. Keep it up!

  3. It’s horrible that caste systems still exist in the 21st century. I’m glad they are taking action and protecting themselves, but its sad that they have to resort to this to feel safe in their own country.

    Would you call that colour a Gigi pink?

    • Agreed. And yes, Gigi pink! haha


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