The BBC reports on slave brides in India.
The prevalence of gender-selective abortion has, of course, led to a shortage of female human beings. (Ironic, isn’t it. The men don’t want daughters but they do want wives [or female slaves]. Tragedy of the commons – it’s someone else’s job to bear and raise daughters for these men to have.)
In Mewat district in the northern state of Haryana the situation is particularly acute: there are 879 women for every 1,000 men. The national average is 927 women for 1,000 men.
As many men cannot find women to marry, bride trafficking has become prevalent. Girls are bought from their families in other states when they are still young and married to local men.
They are often badly treated both within the home and in the wider community where they are seen as outsiders.
Female people just can’t win, can they.
Salma was trafficked from the north-eastern state of Assam when she was only 12.
Her husband, Aas Mohammed, chose Salma over another trafficked girl and paid $60 (£38) for her to the trafficker.
Salma looks different from the women in her village in Haryana.
It took her a long time to get used to the language and social mores of her new home.
Over the years, Salma gave birth to nine children in quick succession. She says she was abused by her husband and was treated as a slave.
The trafficker openly admits to trading women for marriage in Haryana.
“I have helped so many men find a wife… It is a noble cause,” he says.
It’s stunning how normal it is to treat and consider men as people and subjects, and women as objects with no minds that matter. Men have to have “a wife” so somebody has to find a supply of these objects for the men to have.
Ghausia Khan was 14 years old when she was trafficked from Hyderabad in southern India and married to a man in Haryana.
Now she works for an NGO which supports trafficked women. She also wants to stand for election.
She says “laidback bureaucrats and obnoxious traffickers” are to blame for the situation, and is resolute about bringing change if elected to power.
The situation almost makes me hope the enslaved women don’t have much mind left. I almost hope they’re numb enough to stand it.