United Nations: The fundamental position of the United Nations on equal rights for women applies to all religions, an official said.
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' deputy spokesperson Farhan Haq was responding to a question on the Sabarimala controversy.
"You are aware of the UN's position on equal rights of all people."
In answer to another reporter's pointed question about the 'frenzy' in Kerala over two women entering the Lord Ayyappa shrine, Haq said: "This is an issue on which the Supreme Court of India has commented. So we will leave the matter in the hands of the rule of law authorities in India. Of course, we want all parties to respect the rule of law."
Asked if not allowing women to enter the temple was a violation of human rights, Haq did not give a direct answer, but said: "We encourage all to respect the laws of the country."
The Supreme Court ruled in September against the ban on women between the age group of 10 and 50 entering the shrine dedicated to the Lord Ayyappa.
After prolonged protests blocked women from entering the temple, two women in their 40s entered the shrine under police escort on Wednesday.
Demonstrations have been held across Kerala both in support of women entering the temple as well against it.
Former UN Under-Secretary-General Shashi Tharoor, now a Congress Party MP representing Thiruvananthapuram, had criticised the women who went to the shrine on Wednesday, saying that it was an "unnecessary provocative act".
But he added, that he was "very much in favour of women equality but was also in favour of respecting the sanctity of religious practices in our country".
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