The Gulabi Gang (pink gang) is a women’s movement based in India’s Uttar Pradesh region. It’s estimated that they now have many thousands within their group.
Known for dressing in pink saris, they were founded by former health worker and mother of 5 Sampat Pal Devi in response to widespread male violence, such as rape, child marriage and domestic violence.
Members are trained in use of the laathis (tradition Indian sticks) when threatened with attack themselves. They use tactics such as shaming, threatening and even beating violent husbands in order to stop their abuses.
The Gulabi Gang also rejects the corruption of state officials, and have been known to storm police stations, attacking policemen in cases of injustice. They stand up against anti-poor prejudice and are also highly concerned with issues such as dowry deaths, depleting water resources, farm subsidies and how funds are being stolen in government projects.
Sampat Devi states how women bear the brunt of poverty and discrimination in a highly caste-ridden and patriarchal society.
The founder has highlighted how, as she describes….
“Village society in India is loaded against women. It refuses to educate them, marries them off too early, barters them for money. Village women need to study and become independent to sort it out themselves.”
Male violence is not restricted to particular cultures, but is a global epidemic, as horrendously present in the West as in any other part of the world. The Gulabi Gang are an inspirational example of how when women work together they can fight back against so many manifestations of horrific misogyny, violence and abuse.
“We are not a gang in the usual sense of the term, we are a gang for justice.” they state….