lundi 24 octobre 2011

India:The State of Madhya Pradesh organized the marriage of virgins.

On June 26, 2009, 151 women from poor families have participated in a mass wedding sponsored by the State of Madhya Pradesh, Shahdol, 300 km from Bhopal.
Access to the ceremony was conditioned to a virginity test.
         Local officials prefer to talk about ordinary medical examination to identify any pregnancies in women attracted to government assistance.
This mass wedding is part of a program launched in April 2006 by the state government of Madhya Pradesh, which aims to help single women unable to pay for the wedding. The government pays 6,500 rupees more (100 euros) each.
A budget of 385,000 euros has been allocated to this program this year. In three years, 88,460 marriages were organized in this way in the various districts of Madhya Pradesh.
"At first I refused to be examined. But an official told me that I would not be allowed to enter the wedding hall where the gynecologist told me do not qualify. The doctor examined me manually" said a young woman at the wedding day to The Hindustan Times.
The Minister of Human Resource Development, Kapil Sibal, said that this event "insulting women and refers to the eighteenth century."
It is estimated that more than 15 million Indian children are married before the age of 18. In May, hundreds of marriages take place during the Akha Teej festival, believed to bring luck and success. Yet, for 30 years, Indian law prohibits marriage of girls under 18 and boys before age 21.
Madhya Pradesh (442 840 km2, 66 million of inhabitants) is headed by the Prime Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan, from the Bharatiya Janata Party (Indian People's Party, BJP), Hindu nationalist party.

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