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How India’s new Hajj policies affect Muslim women

Audio 04:06
Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand Mosque during the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia on August 16, 2018.
Muslim pilgrims circle the Kaaba and pray at the Grand Mosque during the annual Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, Saudi Arabia on August 16, 2018. REUTERS/Zohra Bensemra

For the first time in India, Muslim women over the age of 45 can make the Hajj pilgrimage without a male guardian. As a result, over 1,300 women this year applied to travel alone on the annual pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia. Although the Indian government's scrapping of a Hajj pilgrim subsidy may have prevented some from making the trip, authorities' decision to reallocate the funds towards education and job opportunities for women and girls has been welcomed by many Indian Muslim women. Correspondent Murali Krishnan has this report, in the first episode of RFI's five-part Hajj series. 

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