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29 January 2018

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A traditional Indian wedding. During the last decade, 69 percent of Indian women moved to join their husbands after marriage or migrated elsewhere with them. Photo: Kunjan Detroja | CC BY-SA 2.0

For Millions of Indian Women, Marriage Means Migration

New Delhi (IPS) – Rekha Rajagopalan, a 26-year-old schoolteacher, migrated to the Indian capital city of New Delhi from southern Chennai in 2015 after her marriage. The reason was simple. Rekha’s husband and his family were based in Delhi, so like millions of other married Indian women, she left her maternal home to relocate to a new city with her new family.

But problems began soon after. Used to Chennai’s hot and balmy weather, Rekha hated Delhi’s severe cold in winter. The stress played on her mind; her periods became erratic. She also missed her younger sister and confidant Sumathi and her mother’s food.

“It was a big cultural shock for me to shift to Delhi,” Rekha told IPS. “I love my husband, but it’s tough to cope with the pressure of living in a city so far away from my parental home. The cuisine, the language, the weather, everything seems so alien. It’s almost like living on a different planet.”

Read on


Migration in the News

  • Al Jazeera, The Independent and MENAFN reported that at least 30 African migrants and refugees drowned after their boat capsized off the coast of Yemen, amid reports of gunfire being used against those on board.
  • Reuters reported that around 800 migrants were rescued in the Mediterranean on Saturday as they tried to reach Europe and two bodies were recovered.
  • OZY reported that since the start of Europe’s migrant crisis in 2015, the continent’s demand for increased border security has created a lucrative business for companies selling the equipment and expertise to build and monitor fences.
  • Newsweek reported that after being brutalized by the men in Libya who hoped to extort their families, the Sudanese refugees now face a different kind of torture – the prospect of deportation to Sudan.
  • Malaysia’s The Star reported that there are 251,000 irregular migrant workers in South Korea. The Justice Ministry said the number of such workers from Malaysia increased last year.
  • The New York Times reported that nearly 14,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Indonesia have been informed that they should not expect to be welcomed by another country. Instead, they should prepare to assimilate into Indonesian society as best they can, or consider returning to their strife-torn countries.
  • UNB reported that IOM has opened “safe spaces” in Rohingya camps which ensures women and adolescent girls have somewhere they feel safe to express themselves, access important information, develop social networks, and strengthen their resilience to find positive ways to cope in the future.
  • The Jakarta Post reported that Indonesian President Joko Widodo arrived in Cox’s Bazar, Bangladesh on Sunday, where he is scheduled to meet Rohingya refugees.
  • Iraq Daily Journal reported that a local initiative set up to help families who fled militants has helped displaced Iraqi women turn to handicrafts for survival and support.
  • Pakistan Today reported that Afghanistan’s failure so far to emerge as a stable and peaceful country means there is no safe place for Afghan refugees to return to. Notwithstanding the security situation in its neighbour, the Pakistan government wants to accelerate refugee repatriation.
  • Xinhua reported that IOM said Friday it has opened an office in Dollow in the Gedo region of Somalia in response to the large-scale displacements caused by drought and insecurity.
  • Little India reported millions of Indians are benefiting from the partnership between India and UAE, Indian Ambassador Navdeep Singh Suri said.

Trending on the Internet

  • Al- Awsat reported about British artist Arabella Dorman who, through her art, is refusing to turn the Syrians who drowned at sea into just numbers and statistics. She instead chose to immortalize their memory in an artwork that speaks to man’s humanity.
  • PBS released the sequel to the award-winning 2016 documentary, Exodus which follows personal journeys of migrants and refugees over two years, as countries become less welcoming to those seeking refuge.
  • NPR speaks to Chamseddine Marzoug who has taken it upon himself to provide dignified burials for dead migrants’ whose bodies wash ashore in his town in eastern Tunisia.


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