When women drinking tea is a political act.

This photo of women at a dhaba, or South Asian roadside eatery, was posted to #girlsatdhabas.

Women drinking tea in public may not seem revolutionary, but it can be.

Sadia Khatri, a May graduate of Mount Holyoke College and resident of Karachi, Pakistan, likes to frequent the roadside restaurants and tea stands known as dhabas. This is still unusual in South Asia, where people often frown upon women appearing in public without male companions.

But when Khatri posted an Instagram photo of herself at a dhaba, the response was so positive that she and a friend started a Tumblr, encouraging others to share similar photos. Their hashtag, #girlsatdhabas, went viral. The phenomenon caught the attention of BuzzFeed, which posted an article about Khatri’s simple stand for women’s independence.

“The idea was to reappear on the streets. Access to public spaces is restricted by class and gender primarily. Dhabas are just one place,” she told BuzzFeed. “It makes women rethink what they can’t do.”

Read the whole article here.

Related media coverage:

New York Times 

NBC News 

BBC News