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In Pictures: India's 'market of mothers'
Al Jazeera profiles a unique market that embodies women’s empowerment, a day ahead of International Women's Day.
Last updated: 07 Mar 2014 09:43
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One particular market in Imphal in India's northeastern Manipur state has few parallels.

Known as Ima Keithel or the "Market of Mothers", it is run entirely by women. Only married women are allowed to set up stalls here and the vendors are referred to as Imas (mothers).

Men are allowed to buy, but the market normally attracts women who come to buy food, clothes, handicrafts and other household items.

Locals say the unique market dates back to the sixteenth century. Until very recently, the women vendors sat under a shed. But a couple of years ago, the government constructed three separate complexes for them.

Business is not always brisk. But the Imas say the market serves another important purpose: It symbolises the empowered character of women in Manipur.


/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera
Ima Keithel is located at Khwairamband Bazar in Imphal


/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

A woman seller prays before entering the market in the morning



/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera
About 3,500 women irrespective of caste and tribe come to sell here


/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

Most Imas are from Imphal valley. The fisherwomen usually come from Bishnupur district of the state.



/ Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera
The market also provides space for political and social discussions


/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera
It is a major tourist attaction


/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera

The market is open from 7 am to 6 pm from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays it opens at 10 am.



/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera
Two women are chatting, they come here every week


/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera
Some knit, do embroidery and make beaded jewelry while waiting for customers


/Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera
The sellers require a license to sell here but some walk around selling fruits and vegetables



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images:
/mritems/images/2014/2/5/20142515409197931_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/5/20142515409447505_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/5/20142515409682940_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/5/20142515409900133_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/5/201425154010119748_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/5/201425154010353246_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/5/201425154010525160_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/5/201425154010822411_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/5/201425154011119566_8.jpg;*;/mritems/images/2014/2/5/201425154011494326_8.jpg
captions:
Ima Keithel is located at Khwairamband Bazar in Imphal;*;

A woman seller prays before entering the market in the morning

;*;About 3,500 women irrespective of caste and tribe come to sell here;*;

Most Imas are from Imphal valley. The fisherwomen usually come from Bishnupur district of the state.

;*;The market also provides space for political and social discussions;*;It is a major tourist attaction;*;

The market is open from 7 am to 6 pm from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays it opens at 10 am.

;*;Two women are chatting, they come here every week;*;Some knit, do embroidery and make beaded jewelry while waiting for customers;*;The sellers require a license to sell here but some walk around selling fruits and vegetables Daylife ID:
3e887a840381ff60287956d34b30c5ce
Photographer:
;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;;*;
Image Source:
Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*; Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera;*;Bijoyeta Das/Al Jazeera
Gallery Source:
Daylife
Daylife Raw Data:
Market of MothersIma Keithel (Market of Mothers) is believed to be one of the few markets [in the world] run entirely by women. It is located in Imphal, the capital of the India's northeastern state Manipur. Only married women are allowed to set up stalls. The sellers are called referred to as Imas. Men can buy but mostly women are seen buying food, clothes, handicrafts and household items. Some accounts say the system dates back to the 16th century. Until recently women sat under a shed. But a couple of years ago the government constructed three separate complexes. Women pay a free to set up stalls. The Imas say the market symbolises the empowered character of women in Manipur. http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_en-ussupport@newscred.comUntitled Site10Wed, 05 Feb 2014 14:27:10 GMTIma Keithelhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/cb2a29ca1d6cb3d094e53b53b148c322

Ima Keithel is located at Khwairamband Bazar in Imphal

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/cb2a29ca1d6cb3d094e53b53b148c322Bijoyeta Das/Al JazeeraIma Keithel

Ima Keithel is located at Khwairamband Bazar in Imphal

Ima Keithelhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/700df783543f87b05422f8672b4991bd

A woman seller prays before entering the market in the morning.

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/700df783543f87b05422f8672b4991bdBijoyeta Das/Al JazeeraIma Keithel

A woman seller prays before entering the market in the morning.

Ima Keithelhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/81ecfe83767471aecfd8fc70f543c600

About 3,500 women irrespective of caste and tribe come to sell here

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/81ecfe83767471aecfd8fc70f543c600Bijoyeta Das/Al JazeeraIma Keithel

About 3,500 women irrespective of caste and tribe come to sell here

Ima Keithelhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/0759c41e8a55a9a075a99a209f0184d4

Most Imas are from Imphal valley. The fisherwomen are usually come from Bishnupur

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/0759c41e8a55a9a075a99a209f0184d4Bijoyeta Das/Al JazeeraIma Keithel

Most Imas are from Imphal valley. The fisherwomen are usually come from Bishnupur

Ima Keithelhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/170b9175e9a9a4b241e20613d7aa0a51

The market also provides space for political and social discussions

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/170b9175e9a9a4b241e20613d7aa0a51 Bijoyeta Das/Al JazeeraIma Keithel

The market also provides space for political and social discussions

Ima Keithelhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/7022a405e0ea3524db0c2c3e95d541f5

It is a major tourist attaction

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/7022a405e0ea3524db0c2c3e95d541f5Bijoyeta Das/Al JazeeraIma Keithel

It is a major tourist attaction

Ima Keithelhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/3c148f420a7aee8a478afff4862f7b96

The market is open from 7 am to 6 pm from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays it opens at 10

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/3c148f420a7aee8a478afff4862f7b96Bijoyeta Das/Al JazeeraIma Keithel

The market is open from 7 am to 6 pm from Monday to Saturday. On Sundays it opens at 10

Ima Keithelhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/b620a083e7de80f29b3535bc42d670c9

Two women are chatting, they come here every week

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/b620a083e7de80f29b3535bc42d670c9Bijoyeta Das/Al JazeeraIma Keithel

Two women are chatting, they come here every week

Ima Keithelhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/b3f7502958e8455d23dd6e244583efff

Some knit, do embroidery and make beaded jewelry while waiting for customers

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/b3f7502958e8455d23dd6e244583efffBijoyeta Das/Al JazeeraIma Keithel

Some knit, do embroidery and make beaded jewelry while waiting for customers

Ima Keithelhttp://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/71b9ba2ccba4e844859588fa4c5847b8

The sellers require a license to sell here but some walk around selling fruits and vegetables

http://aljazeera.galleries.newscred.com/gallery/Market_of_Mothers_/slideshow/ima-keithel/71b9ba2ccba4e844859588fa4c5847b8Bijoyeta Das/Al JazeeraIma Keithel

The sellers require a license to sell here but some walk around selling fruits and vegetables



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