Female migration fueling demand for potential brides : UNFA Report

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Thane, Sep 19 (UNI) A recent international report by the United Nation's Population Fund (UNFA) released here states that in parts of Asia, various factors are fueling the demand for potential brides. One of them is the migration of females from rural to urban areas.

The report ''UNFA State of World Population 2006 - A Passage to Hope, Women and International Migration'', was released here by Ms Anna Dani, Principal Secretary (FW). It was released globally and the state release function was held at Thane.

The report states that in many East and South East Asian countries, the increase in women entering the work force, coupled with a trend towards delaying or forgoing marriage and child bearing altogether, is leading to a demand for more 'traditional' brides to maintain the house hold.

Women's migration from rural to urban areas is another factor accounting for the 'bride deficit'.

Researchers are also attributing the alleged shortage to the as many as 100 million 'missing' women and girls eliminated through prenatal sex selection and infanticide, the report added.

A strong preference for sons and exorbitant dowry demands are the leading reasons behind the quiet decimation of girls. In China and India, an estimated 40.1 and 39.1 million women and girls are 'missing' respectively, the report added.

Men are increasingly scouting outside their own borders to fill the gap. In India, villagers approach brokers to procure Bangladeshi and Nepali women and girls, who often face discrimination on account of being poor, ethnically different and paid for a justification for abusive behaviour by some husbands who may feel that they 'own' their wives. For some women and their families, these arrangements offer an escape from poverty. But for others, it is a one-way ticket to hardship, social exclusion and forced labour, the report said.

The report added, a 2005 study of 213 Vietnamese migrant women who had once lived in China found that close to 30 per cent had been sold as brides. Many reported that they had entered into the arrangement because of poverty (91 per cent reported income insufficiency for 'survival' and 69 per cent cited unemployment) and to provide for elderly parents (80 per cent).

Though many planned to send remittances back home, most found themselves confined to the household instead, or working on the household plot. Researchers also uncovered evidence of physical abuse and reproductive rights violations, the report stated.


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