Saturday, October 17, 2009

"No Toilet, No Bride" in rural India

Emily Wax at the Washington Post reports on some consequences of the increased education and economic power of rural Indian women: In India, New Seat of Power for Women. Prospective Brides Demand Sought-After Commodity: A Toilet.

"About 665 million people in India -- about half the population -- lack access to latrines. But since a "No Toilet, No Bride" campaign started about two years ago, 1.4 million toilets have been built here in the northern state of Haryana, some with government funds, according to the state's health department.
Women's rights activists call the program a revolution as it spreads across India's vast and largely impoverished rural areas.
"I won't let my daughter near a boy who doesn't have a latrine," said Usha Pagdi, who made sure that daughter Vimlas Sasva, 18, finished high school and took courses in electronics at a technical school.
"No loo? No 'I do,' " Vimlas said, laughing as she repeated a radio jingle. "

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