Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Haryana, India - From Bride Burning to Bride Buying
The news that,due partly to female foeticide and skewed ratio of men to women,some Indians are paying to buy brides would have been amusing if it were not for the implications and conditions that created the situation. For centuries parents in India have been paying dowery to get their daughters married to suitable grooms. Although no longer legal, it is a practice that continues covertly and it is not going to disappear any time soon. Story about men buying brides (sex slaves) is another side of the picture. The customs---of female foeticide,dowery,and bride buying---are all reprehensible.
From the BBC:
"Can a young, single girl get married to a father of six willingly?" asks Anwari.
"It is all fate. What has happened has happened. What can I do? My parents didn't even get any money from this deal."
Anwari is among the several thousand young women from all over India who are literally sold-off to men in Haryana, a state notorious for its low ratio of girls to boys.
The going rate for buying a girl in the state is anything between 4,000 and 30,000 rupees ($88 to $660).
A cultural preference for sons over daughters has skewed India's sex ratio in places like Haryana.
As a result of female foeticide, there are about 861 women for every 1,000 men in Haryana, according to the last census. The national average is 927 women to 1,000 men.
Since there aren't enough local women to marry, Haryana's men pay touts to bring women for them to marry and to work on their farms."