Inside sacred naked women only forest that fines any blokes who try to enter

A sacred 'women only' forest in Indonesia hands out fines of £50 to ant men who attempt to enter.

The forest, located in Jayapura, Papua, has been a special place for generations of women to gather together to collect clams and share stories – but men are banned from the area.

Intruders facing fines of up to one million rupiah ($69/£50) – an amount that's usually paid in polished stones, according to a film by BBC Indonesia.

Speaking to the documentary makers, villager Adriana Meraudje said: "This has always been a women's only forest. Long before I was born, it existed. It's always been here, with the same rules.

"To enter the women's forest, you have to be naked. You can't wear clothes.

"If a man even peeks in, he will be punished – sanctioned and fined. We take them to tribal court."

Another villager, named Ari Rumboyrusi explained that it is a tradition for women to tell stories together while they collect clams.

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She told the BBC: "When it's a low tide, we all go together. We invite our friends and enter the forest by boat.

"When we're in the forest, we're free, as there are no men around.

"It's just us women, so we freely share stories with the elders. We plunge our bodies into the sea, feeling our way through the mud for clams."

The women will then go on to sell the clams they have collected.

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But their eight-hectare sacred space is facing more of an intrusion than just men as litter coming from the nearby cities has caused a challenge for the women.

Enggros Kampung leader Origenes Meraudje told the broadcaster: "We find more plastic than clams nowadays. We are so sad.

"Back in the day, we needed only half a day to fill up our boat [with clams]. But these days, we work the whole day but barely fill up half the boat."

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