Breaking Free From Marriage Trap for Girls in India

Nearly half of all girls 18 years and below enter marital relationship in India due to poverty and social-cultural-religious-political-economic biases and entrenched social perceptions working against girls. children. After My Garden Grows is a new short documentary about Monika, one of 40,000 rural Indian girls participating in the Girls Project, a partnership between the government of West Bengal and Landesa. This story highlights the struggle of rural girls to avoid early marriage and how a small parcel of land is creating new opportunities for Monika.

Bengali author and Berkley Professor Bharati Mukherjee depicts the story of escape from the conventional life of a Bengali girl Anjali to the Yankee high-tech call center opportunity of Bangalore in her latest Trilogy book 'Miss New India'. A large number of girls do not escape violence and violent death after marriage. The Global Gender Gap Report 2012 says the progress in gender gap reduction is positive but very slow.

"ONE of the most enduring cliches about India is that is a country of contradictions. Like all cliches, this one too has a grain of truth in it. At the heart of the contradiction stand Indian women: for it is true to say that they are among the most oppressed in the world, and it is equally true to say that they are among the most liberated, the most articulate and perhaps even the most free. Can these two realities be simultaneously true?" - Urvashi Butalia, publisher Kali for Women

CNN reports on India's 'Womanifesto'
How central are women's rights to this year's elections? 
India's new Prime Minister Narendra Modi makes his first choice of foreign visit to Bhutan. BBC Link. He shares his views on a participatory and evolving democracy. Modi warned lawmakers against "politicising rape", saying they were "playing with the dignity of women" in his
  first speech to parliament since sweeping to power at last month's elections. - Guardian, 6/11/14

In China, unmarried women over 27 years are labeled as 'leftover' by a Government-run Women's Organization! Does that make sense? 
China's growing gender gap: women are not just 'leftover' but left out [reports Gaurdian]

Holding back half the nation : Women’s lowly status in the Japanese workplace has barely improved in decades, and the country suffers as a result. Shinzo Abe would like to change that. [reports Economist Japanese society had been ordered largely on matrilineal lines before the advent of Samurai in 15th century.  The fine line between economic empowerment and economic exploitation of women is not always obvious from the frontside. [Global Labor Right Campaign