Repository logo

Indian women in marriage: When the sacred marriage thread becomes a noose.

Thumbnail Image



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Taylor & Francis (Routledge)/UNISA Press.


Violence against women is a worldwide problem that transcends all boundaries – cultural, geographic, religious, social and economic. However, it is maintained that there are also added particular cultural ‘dynamics’ or constraints inherent in specific cultural groups. This focus attempts to sketch out the features of a category of Indian women who are assumed as being compelled by particular systemic cultural constraints or familial pressures to ‘play the dutiful wife’ at the expense of enduring sustained emotional and physical trauma. While there is extensive, even sensational reporting of violence within Indian families and against Indian wives in (predominantly Indian) tabloids, there is conversely less scholarly attention on this category of women and the dynamics and conflicts within Indian households. This piece focuses a narrow scrutiny on the Indian wife within abusive marriages. It looks at what is referred to as ‘culturally systemic’ violence and a certain commonality of marital discord and abuse experienced by Indian wives who live in extended families, and pays attention to the presence of the mother-in-law within the living arrangement.



Indian women--Abuse of., Indian women--South Africa., Married women--South Africa., Hindu women--Social life and customs., Wife abuse--South Africa., Marital violence--Psychological aspects.


Naidu, Maheshvari. 2011. Indian women in marriage: When the sacred marriage thread becomes a noose. Agenda, 25(1), 84-92.