Indian Village Bans Women From Using Mobile Phones Outside Homes

An Indian village has banned women from using mobile phones in public in an attempt to restrict their contacts with men and plans hefty fines for violators, police said Wednesday. The ruling is meant to prevent women from eloping or even interacting with men.

The elders’ council or khap pranchayat of a predominantly Muslim village, Madora, have set the fine as large as 21,000 rupees (around $330) on those who break the ruling.

Village elders in the India’s Uttar Pradesh have prohibited women and girls from using mobile phones outside their homes, imposing a hefty fine on violators. The ruling is meant to prevent women from eloping or even interacting with men.

The elders’ council or khap pranchayat of a predominantly Muslim village, Madora, have set the fine as large as 21,000 rupees (around $330) on those who break the ruling.

Although the decision carried out by the village elders are not legally binding, they have vast influence in the rural north of India.

India has a record of enforcing restricting measures on women. In December 2016, Mumbai college forbid its female students to wear ripped jeans.

Many of the country’s universities impose curfews on female students that do not exist for their male counterparts. Defending the curfews in March, Indian Women’s Minister Manekha Gandhi said they were necessary to protect young women from their “hormonal outbursts.”

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