Kerala Brides in Haryana: A Sending Region Perspective on Cross-Region Marriages
43 Pages Posted: 24 Aug 2018
Date Written: August 14, 2018
In a context accentuated by a long history of sex ratio imbalance and an imminent bride shortage, several men in the northwest Indian state of Haryana are bringing brides from other states such as Bihar, West Bengal and Kerala. This paper examines the situation of cross-region marriages in India from the sending region perspective. With a population male to female ratio of 92.25 and child (0-6) sex ratio of 103.7 against an expected ratio of 105 males per 100 females, it may seem obvious why Kerala women would meet the demand for brides in daughter-deficit regions. However, Kerala ranks high on several human development indicators including education, health, governance and status of women. Why would women from high development regions, such as Kerala, migrate to marry men in low development regions? In particular, why would women from areas where they have a relatively higher status migrate to marry men in regions where women have lower status? Based on a survey of 68 cross-region brides’ families and 25 in-depth interviews, this paper offers insights into why and how such marriages are arranged and what they mean for women’s well-being.
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