Preference for male babies in India has created a severe gender imbalance and a huge shortage of women. Women deficiency has conducted the traffickers to sell young girls to men despairing to wed. In the following episode of Al Jazeera 101 East, Steve Ciao investigates India’s slave bride’s trade.
The plight of women trafficking is to an extreme extent in Haryana, one of the India’s most feudal and patriarchal states, where preference for male babies has produced the most terrible gender difference in the country. A survey of 10’000 families in Haryana found that more than 9000 married women had come from other states. In most villages, there are about five to ten women who have been trafficked into marriage, and some of them are being sold to men not just once but two or three times. The villagers call them “Paro”, a derogatory term meaning they have been purchased.
A government advisor on family issues Poonam Muttreja says that with a shortage of women to enter into marriage, it’s become normal in Haryana for men to buy brides from other states. She says “They could marry their boys to girls from the other country parts in a normal and respectful way, but it’s an extreme disrespect for women that they do sex trafficking. They don’t treat the women they bring in as respected married partners, but they treat them as commodities that can be recycled and resold.”