India: One wife, multiple husbands - a custom fades

Publication Date: 
July 16, 2010
New York Times
Buddhi Devi (Photo: Brian Sokol, New York Times)

Buddhi Devi, 70, was betrothed as a teenager to two brothers in a polyandrous marriage in Malang, India. The custom has not carried over to her five children.

India: Prosecute Rampant ‘Honor’ Killings

Publication Date: 
July 18, 2010
Human Rights Watch

(New York) July 18, 2010 -- The Indian government should urgently investigate and prosecute those responsible for the recent spurt in reported "honor" killings, Human Rights Watch said today. The government should also strengthen laws that protect against kinship, religion-based, and caste-based violence, and take appropriate action against local leaders who endorse or tolerate such crimes, Human Rights Watch said.

Murders to protect family or community "honor" have increased in recent months, in the northern states of Haryana, Punjab, and Uttar Pradesh, where unofficial village councils, called khap panchayats, issue edicts condemning couples for marrying outside their caste or religion and condemn marriages within a kinship group (gotra), considered incestuous even though there is no biological connection. To enforce these decrees and break up such relationships, family members have threatened couples, filed false cases of abduction, and killed spouses to protect the family's "honor." Some local politicians and officials have been sympathetic to the councils' edicts, implicitly supporting the violence.

"Officials who fail to condemn village council edicts that end in murder are effectively endorsing murder," said Meenakshi Ganguly, South Asia director for Human Rights Watch. "Politicians and police need to send these councils a strong message to stop issuing edicts on marriages."

In India, Castes, Honor and Killings Intertwine

Publication Date: 
July 9, 2010
New York Times
Candlelight vigil in New Delhi for Nirupama Pathak, a 22 year old Hindu woman from eastern India.

KODERMA, India — When Nirupama Pathak left this remote mining region for graduate school in New Delhi, she seemed to be leaving the old  for the new. Her parents paid her tuition and did not resist when she wanted to choose her own career. But choosing a husband was another matter.

Her family was Brahmin, the highest Hindu caste, and when Ms. Pathak, 22, announced she was secretly engaged to a young man from a caste lower than hers, her family began pressing her to change her mind. They warned of social ostracism and accused her of defiling their religion.

A Female Approach to Peacekeeping

Publication Date: 
March 5, 2010
New York Times
Photo: New York Times

MONROVIA, LIBERIA — When darkness comes to Congo Town, women in crisp uniforms take the streets, patrolling with Kalashnikov rifles and long, black hair tucked into baby-blue caps.

India: Women Advocate Against Honour Killings & For Free Choice Marriages

Publication Date: 
June 14, 2010
Women's Feature Service
Women campaign against honour killings, against justification of crimes of honor as "tradition," and for free choice marriages

New Delhi - Honour killings in north India are making the headlines with sickening regularity. The unexplained death of Nirupama Pathak in her Jharkhand home is just one incident.

India: Single Women Resist Stigma - Demand Rights

India - Single Women Resist Stigma, Demand Rights
By: Swapna Majumdar
Correspondent - January 10, 2010


Despite a 2006 law banning the age-old practice, most parents in rural India still want to marry off their daughters before the legal age of 18.

India - "Holiday Brides" Abandoned by Husbands in UK, US, Canada

Khan/Getty: "Holiday brides" in India have been deserted by husbands from the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

"Holiday brides" in India have been deserted by husbands from the U.S., Canada and the U.K.

By Soraya Roberts
November 23, 2009



India Brides Left Behind by Overseas Husbands

Sandeep Kaur calls the volume that holds her 30-page collection of wedding photos a book of lies.

India's third gender gets own identity in voter rolls

NEW DELHI, India (CNN) -- Indian election authorities Thursday granted what they called an independent identity to intersex and transsexuals in the country's voter lists.