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NEW DELHI — India’s Supreme Court on Friday lifted a temple’s ban on women of menstruating age, holding that equality is supreme irrespective of age and gender.

The historic Sabarimala temple had barred women age 10 to 50 from entering the temple, one of the largest Hindu pilgrimage centers in the world.

Some religious figures consider menstruating women to be impure. But the court ruled 4-1 the practice of excluding women can’t be regarded as an essential religious practice.

The top court’s verdict is part a string of recent rulings that recognize more rights of women, challenging deeply conservative Indian society. On Thursday, it scrapped a law which did not allow wives to bring criminal charges against adulterous husbands.

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