The Washington Post has a great piece about the lifestyle many girls in South Asia are confined to and where the desire for an education is ruled out because of poverty and tradition.

In this patriarchal society, fathers and brothers are widely seen as the decision-makers, many even telling wives and sisters what to cook and when to leave the house. Especially in rural India, girls are far likelier to die before age 5, because scarce food and medicine are given first to their brothers.

“The constitution says, yes, women are equal, but society says, no, they are not,” said Veena Padia, program director in India for the international aid group CARE. “We really feel angry and frustrated, at times even disgusted,” at the bias against women, she said. “Mind-sets take a long time to change.”

Padia said that middle- and upper-class women have made significant advances and that it is poor and marginalized women who suffer the greatest discrimination.

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