Friday, February 18, 2011

The Subjugation of Women in 1904

Their Existence, from Cradle to Grave, is One of Unspeakable Horror and Degradation

A Hindoo grandmother, with a red sahree drawn close around her, told her life’s story recently to 100 Chicago mothers who had gathered tin a little room in Handell hall to hear it.

It was a story that might have been told in Nero’s court, while Christians, burning like candles in their jackets of tar, were illuminating the gardens—it might have been told then because the flames would have made a perfect setting for the story of Sukhiva Vannerjee. is Hindoo grandmother’s hair was as black as ebony and her eyes were the eyes of youth with the fire of a hope burned out. The mothers who hear her story were white-haired, many of them.

Twenty-one years ago Sukhiva Vannerjee was married. She is now 27 years old. The man who took as his bride a girl of six was over 30, was prosperous, and belonged to India’s high caste, as did the child wife.

The woman told her story in broken English. Now and then she was prompted by Miss Josephine Holmes, a Los Angeles woman who brought her to this country to arouse sympathy in American in the movement to abolish the child wife practice in India.

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