In Singapore, many rich men in need of a wife
order in Vietnamese women

The image of marriage is often presented as one of love and devotion, but often partnerships are not about romantic proposals, but business proposals.

In Singapore, many rich men in need of a wife simply order in Vietnamese women who have to undergo tests to prove they are virgins.

It may seem degrading and humiliating but for some of the women, it is a chance of a new life. 

We meet two young Vietnamese women looking not for the man of their dreams, but for a man of means.

Matchmaking Muslim style

Samiah and Syed try the matchmaking service
Most westerners find romance through dating. But that is not an option for conscientious Muslims, who can only marry other Muslims.

In the US, that poses many problems for those wanting to stay true to Islam but searching for the man or woman of their dreams. 

Luckily a mosque in California has hit on a solution, and now offers a matchmaking service. 

Samiah and Syed try it to see if they are suited.

Orfi Marriage

So what happens when two people who want to be together cannot get married? For example, if the couple do not have enough money, or if their families do not approve?  

In Egypt, the alternative is the Orfi marriage but critics say it is just an excuse for the couple to have sex. It is not legal, and any children born within the marriage are mot automatically recognised as legitimate.
 
Green Weddings

The Maiti ritual involves girls caring for tree
saplings and planting them when they marry

In some regions of rural India, part of the marriage ceremony is geared to helping prevent ecological disaster.

The Maiti ritual involves young girls caring for tree saplings, then planting them when they get married.

This helps to preserve the forests on which 300 million people depend for their livelihoods.

It has now spread to some 8000 villages now - including Maloon in the Himalayas.

Watch part one of this episode of Everywoman on YouTube

Watch part two of this episode of Everywoman on YouTube

This episode of Everywoman aired on Friday, February 29, 2008


Do email us with your views, our address is everywoman@aljazeera.net or you can contact us by clicking on 'Send your feedback' at the top of the page

Watch Al Jazeera English programmes on YouTube

Join our debates on the Your Views page