01/28/2012, 00.00
BANGLADESH - INDIA
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"Angry Brides ": an online game to fight dowry murders

An Indian marriage agency launches "Angry Brides", where a woman throws things at future husbands seeking exaggerated dowry. In Bangladesh at least 325 women were tortured and killed by their husbands or their families in 2011. In India more than 8 thousand cases in 2010.
Dhaka (AsiaNews) - At least 325 women were tortured and killed for dowry-related reasons, in 2011. This is confirmed by a joint investigation of Ain-O-Salish Kendro (Ask), Bangladesh Mahila Parishad and Odhikar. The three NGOs, however, specify that these are only partial data, taking into account the many cases not reported or passed off as suicide. Brides are beaten and burned alive by their husbands (or their relatives), dissatisfied with a dowry that is too little or non-existent. Alternatively, strangled, then tied with a rope and hanged on a pole to simulate a suicide (see 05/04/2011, "When wives are set on fire for their dowry"). A practice prohibited by law, but rooted in Bangladeshi culture and growing: according to the survey, 198 in 2011 were certain data.

Dowry murders are widespread in other South Asian countries. According to the National Crime Records Bureau of India, in 2010 the country had 8,391 cases of dowry deaths and at least 90 thousand cases of torture and abuse by husbands and their families. To raise awareness in the fight against this practice, the marriage agency Shaadi.com launched Facebook Angry Brides, an online game modeled after Google’s more famous Angry Birds.

In the game, three potential husbands - a doctor, a police officer and an engineer - approach a woman, each demanding a very high dowry. The bride has eight arms against the three men and throw various objects (shoes with heels, a pan, a broom, pots and vegetables).

In Bangladesh, the current dowry system, which is the practice whereby the bride's family must give a sum to her future husband, dates to about fifty years ago. Before the dowry there was the "bride price": according to Islamic family law, the groom had to give a sum to the woman to get married. A recent change, the cause seems to be linked to a numerical imbalance between men and women in Bengali society: in 1950 women were 10% more, even 43% more in 1975. (NI)
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