In the US, it is sometimes hard for us to comprehend the different social norms of other countries that have very different cultures. In many countries, women are treated very differently than they are here and not given the same opportunities to succeed or even choose who they want to marry. In India, arranged marriages are the norm. Women are to get married and then remain in the home to take care of domestic necessities. In the culture, it is not normal for women to have a say in most decisions, especially marriage. In order to maintain their dependence and seclusion, the city of Bangalore has established factory jobs to keep these girls away from social independence and to support the rapidly expanding economy with a shortage of workers. The article referred to this as “social engineering.”

But the girls of India don’t see it as a social hindrance. In fact, young women in India see this as an opportunity to move to the big city and fulfill their dreams. This is independence. Their lives before they moved to Bangalore were extremely protected and conservative. One girl explained that she had only been to a movie theater once and was escorted by her male cousins and uncle who made a literal human chain around her to prevent any contact with other men. Unfortunately, even though the girls are making their big move into the big city, they can still be summoned back at anytime to marry. And then it is all over.

Questions regarding gender roles and independence are penetrating their society and will linger until women have earned the rights they feel are fair and compliant with their culture.