Tuesday, May 24, 2011

An interesting but predictable twist

With fewer women the "marriage market" has taken an interesting turn.

Usually, a bride's family pays a large dowry to the groom's family. But these days prospective grooms in areas short on women often need to have substantial amounts of land and a secure government job if they are to win a wife.

BBC News - India's 'imported' brides

Monday, May 23, 2011

Libya: 'Forced to rape in Misrata'

"We felt scared, but when we refused to rape, they started to beat us.

"There were four girls aged between about 20 and 24.

"They were conscious [during the rapes]. I raped one.

"The girls said nothing. They were tired and they were in bad shape because there were 20 officers before us.

"It happened in the morning, and lasted about an hour and a half.

"The officers brought in a music system and listened to pop music, and smoked and danced during the rapes.

"I'm not happy with what I did but I don't feel nervous or frightened now, and I want to emphasise that the officers forced us to rape.

"They told us that if you rape any girls, we will give you money and we got 10 dinars [$8, £5] each afterwards.

"This was my first time to have sex. I have four sisters at home."

BBC News - Libya: 'Forced to rape in Misrata'

Where are India's millions of missing girls?

"My mother-in-law taunted me for giving birth to girls. She said her son would divorce me if I didn't bear a son."
Kulwant still has vivid memories of the first abortion. "The baby was nearly five months old. She was beautiful. I miss her, and the others we killed," she says, breaking down, wiping away her tears.
Until her son was born, Kulwant's daily life consisted of beatings and abuse from her husband, mother-in-law and brother-in-law. Once, she says, they even attempted to set her on fire.
"They were angry. They didn't want girls in the family. They wanted boys so they could get fat dowries," she says.
India outlawed dowries in 1961, but the practice remains rampant and the value of dowries is constantly growing, affecting rich and poor alike.
Kulwant's husband died three years after the birth of their son. "It was the curse of the daughters we killed. That's why he died so young," she says.

BBC News - Where are India's millions of missing girls?

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Najla Hariri

The 45-year-old says she was inspired by the protests taking place elsewhere in the Middle East.

"Enough is enough", she told the BBC as she drove around the city. "I have the right to [drive]."

BBC News - Saudi woman seeks to put women in the driving seat