Sunday, December 23, 2007
Here's another piece of unnecessary suffering caused by religion. In India, Hinduism frowns on widows remarrying, with the result that "a woman can quickly lose her dignity, even her basic rights, when she loses her husband". Many find themselves destitute, relying on charity or even begging and many "are dumped by their relatives in religious towns". India has an astonishing 33 million widows, some of whom are very young. The Indian government has outlined plans to help them, but it seems to me that the best solution to the problem would be to outlaw this appalling religious discrimination, although I realise that such nonsense can be so deeply ingrained in the minds of those who know no better (encouraged by religious leaders with a vested interest in perpetuating it) that this is easier said than done.