India: Indigenous women reject anti-‘mixed marriage’ bill


Indigenous women in north-eastern India are calling on the Meghalaya state government to block a bill that would deny them rights, including the ability to inherit land if they marry outside their tribe.

Khasi women are the latest to join a growing movement in the country challenging discriminatory legislation and practices.

The bill was passed last month by the tribe’s governing body, which said it is a measure to protect the group’s indigenous identity.

If approved by the state governor, it would deny women their tribal status and rights if they marry a non-Khasi man. Their children would also not be seen as Khasi.

Patricia Mukhim, an activist who is Khasi and edits a local newspaper, said on August 1: “Khasi people have inter-married since time immemorial. This bill targets women and smacks of patriarchy.

“It is sexist and unconstitutional. We are asking the state government to stop its passage.”

[Abridged from TeleSUR English.]