Brides for India’s North

Declining sex ratios due to decades of discrimination against women in certain parts of India have left many men unmarried.
The women, usually from poor families, migrate far and cross borders of caste, culture, language and ethnicity – sometimes even religion. Photo: Riccardo Romano. Creative Commons Lizenzvertrag. This image is licensed under Creative Commons License.

An interview about cross-regional marriage migration with Ravinder Kaur.

As marriage remains a social obligation in Indian society, desperation has led to an increasing number of cross-regional and cross- cultural marriages which challenge the rigid marriage systems and the notion of caste. States like Punjab, Uttar Pradesh and Haryana are particularly affected by a lack of women, and in the last decades informal networks have facilitated the migration of brides from eastern and southern parts of the country to these northern states.

The women, usually from poor families, migrate far and cross borders of caste, culture, language and ethnicity – sometimes even religion. Driven by skewed sex-ratios on the one hand and poverty on the other, cross-regional marriages ignore many of the principles engrained in traditional marriages. Controversy over whether cross-regional marriages represent a form of human trafficking or merely a social reaction to a demographic challenge dominates the public debate.

Read the entire interview at http://www.boell.de/en/2015/02/18/brides-indias-north

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