Women in India
The status of women in India has been subject to many changes over the span of recorded Indian history. Their position in early society was of very high position in India's ancient period, especially in the Indo-Aryan speaking regions,[a][b][c] and their subordination continued to be reified well into India's early modern period.[d] Practises such as female infanticide, dowry, child marriage and the taboo on widow remarriage, have had a long duration in India, and have proved difficult to root out, especially in caste Hindu society in northern India.
|Gender Inequality Index-2017|
|Rank||127th out of 160|
|Maternal mortality (per 100,000)||174|
|Women in parliament||14.5%|
|Females over 25 with secondary education||39% [M: 63.5%]|
|Women in labour force||27.2% [M: 78.8%]|
|Global Gender Gap Index|
|Rank||108th out of 149|
During the British East India Company rule (1757–1857), and the British Raj (1858–1947), measures aiming at amelioration were enacted, including Bengal Sati Regulation, 1829, Hindu Widows' Remarriage Act, 1856, Female Infanticide Prevention Act, 1870, and Age of Consent Act, 1891. Women's rights under the Constitution of India mainly include equality, dignity, and freedom from discrimination; additionally, India has various statutes governing the rights of women.
As of 2018[update], some women have served in various senior official positions in the Indian government, including that of the President of India, the Prime Minister of India, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha. However, many women in India continue to face significant difficulties. The rates of malnutrition are exceptionally high among adolescent girls and pregnant and lactating women in India, with repercussions for children's health.[e] Violence against women, especially sexual violence, has been on the rise in India.
- 1 Women in India during British rule
- 2 Independent India
- 3 Timeline of women's achievements in India
- 4 Politics
- 5 Culture
- 6 Military and law enforcement
- 7 Education and economic development
- 8 Crimes against women
- 9 Women's safety laws
- 10 Other concerns
- 11 See also
- 12 Notes
- 13 References
- 14 Further reading
- 15 External links
Women in India during British ruleEdit
During the British Raj, many reformers such as Ram Mohan Roy, Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar and Jyotirao Phule fought for the betterment of women. Peary Charan Sarkar, a former student of Hindu College, Calcutta and a member of "Young Bengal", set up the first free school for girls in India in 1847 in Barasat, a suburb of Calcutta (later the school was named Kalikrishna Girls' High School). hile this might suggest that there was no positive British contribution during the Raj era, that is not entirely the case. Missionaries' wives such as Martha Mault née Mead and her daughter Eliza Caldwell née Mault are rightly remembered for pioneering the education and training of girls in south India. This practice was initially met with local resistance, as it flew in the face of tradition. Raja Rammohan Roy's efforts led to the abolition of Sati under Governor-General William Cavendish-Bentinck in 1829. Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's crusade for improvement in the situation of widows led to the Widow Remarriage Act of 1856. Many women reformers such as Pandita Ramabai also helped the cause of women.
Kittur Chennamma, queen of the princely state Kittur in Karnataka, led an armed rebellion against the British in response to the Doctrine of lapse. Rani Lakshmi Bai, the Queen of Jhansi, led the Indian Rebellion of 1857 against the British. She is now widely considered as a national hero. Begum Hazrat Mahal, the co-ruler of Awadh, was another ruler who led the revolt of 1857. She refused deals with the British and later retreated to Nepal. The Begums of Bhopal were also considered notable female rulers during this period. They were trained in martial arts. Chandramukhi Basu, Kadambini Ganguly and Anandi Gopal Joshi were some of the earliest Indian women to obtain a degree.
In 1917, the first women's delegation met the Secretary of State to demand women's political rights, supported by the Indian National Congress. The All India Women's Education Conference was held in Pune in 1927, it became a major organisation in the movement for social change. In 1929, the Child Marriage Restraint Act was passed, stipulating fourteen as the minimum age of marriage for a girl.[full citation needed] Mahatma Gandhi, himself a victim of child marriage at the age of thirteen, he later urged people to boycott child marriages and called upon young men to marry child widows.
Women in India now participate fully in areas such as education, sports, law enforcement, military, politics, media, art, and culture, service sectors, space travel, science and technology, etc. Indira Gandhi, who served as Prime Minister of India for an aggregate period of fifteen years, is the world's longest serving woman Prime Minister.
The Constitution of India guarantees to all Indian women equality (Article 14), no discrimination by the State (Article 15(1)), equality of opportunity (Article 16), equal pay for equal work (Article 39(d)) and Article 42. In addition, it allows special provisions to be made by the State in favour of women and children (Article 15(3)), renounces practices derogatory to the dignity of women (Article 51(A) (e)), and also allows for provisions to be made by the State for securing just and humane conditions of work and for maternity relief. (Article 42).
Feminist activism in India gained momentum in the late 1970s. One of the first national-level issues that brought women's groups together was the Mathura rape case. The acquittal of policemen accused of raping a young girl Mathura in a police station led to country-wide protests in 1979–1980. The protests, widely covered by the national media, forced the Government to amend the Evidence Act, the Criminal Procedure Code, and the Indian Penal Code; and created a new offence, custodial rape. Female activists also united over issues such as female infanticide, gender bias, women's health, women's safety, and women's literacy.
Since alcoholism is often associated with violence against women in India, many women groups launched anti-liquor campaigns in Andhra Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana, Odisha, Madhya Pradesh and other states. Many Indian Muslim women have questioned the fundamental leaders' interpretation of women's rights under the Shariat law and have criticised the triple talaq system (see below about 2017).
Mary Roy won a lawsuit in 1986, against the inheritance legislation of her Keralite Syrian Christian community in the Supreme Court. The judgement ensured equal rights for Syrian Christian women with their male siblings in regard to their ancestral property. Until then, her Syrian Christian community followed the provisions of the Travancore Succession Act of 1916 and the Cochin Succession Act, 1921, while elsewhere in India the same community followed the Indian Succession Act of 1925.
In the 1990s, grants from foreign donor agencies enabled the formation of new women-oriented NGOs. Self-help groups and NGOs such as Self Employed Women's Association (SEWA) have played a major role in the advancement of women's rights in India. Many women have emerged as leaders of local movements; for example, Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan.
In 1991, the Kerala High Court restricted entry of women above the age of 10 and below the age of 50 from Sabarimala Shrine as they were of the menstruating age. However, on 28 September 2018, the Supreme Court of India lifted the ban on the entry of women. It said that discrimination against women on any grounds, even religious, is unconstitutional.
In 2006, the case of Imrana, a Muslim rape victim, was highlighted by the media. Imrana was raped by her father-in-law. The pronouncement of some Muslim clerics that Imrana should marry her father-in-law led to widespread protests, and finally Imrana's father-in-law was sentenced to 10 years in prison. The verdict was welcomed by many women's groups and the All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
According to a 2011 poll conducted by the Thomson Reuters Foundation, India was the "fourth most dangerous country" in the world for women, India was also noted as the worst country for women among the G20 countries, however, this report has faced criticism for promoting inaccurate perceptions. On 9 March 2010, one day after International Women's day, Rajya Sabha passed the Women's Reservation Bill requiring that 33% of seats in India's Parliament and state legislative bodies be reserved for women. In October 2017 another poll published by Thomson Reuters Foundation found that Delhi was the fourth most dangerous megacity (total 40 in the world) for women and it was also the worst megacity in the world for women when it came to sexual violence, risk of rape and harassment.
The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act, 2013 is a legislative act in India that seeks to protect women from sexual harassment at their place of work. The Act came into force from 9 December 2013. The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 introduced changes to the Indian Penal Code, making sexual harassment an expressed offence under Section 354 A, which is punishable up to three years of imprisonment and or with fine. The Amendment also introduced new sections making acts like disrobing a woman without consent, stalking and sexual acts by person in authority an offense. It also made acid attacks a specific offence with a punishment of imprisonment not less than 10 years and which could extend to life imprisonment and with fine.
In 2014, an Indian family court in Mumbai ruled that a husband objecting to his wife wearing a kurta and jeans and forcing her to wear a sari amounts to cruelty inflicted by the husband and can be a ground to seek divorce. The wife was thus granted a divorce on the ground of cruelty as defined under section 27(1)(d) of Special Marriage Act, 1954.
In 2018, a survey by Thomson Reuters Foundation termed India as the world's most dangerous country for women due to high risk of sexual violence. Although National Commission for Women rejected the report stating that the sample size was small in the number of people surveyed and could in no way reflect the state of affairs in a country of 1.3 billion people. National Commission for Women (NCW) also pointed out that there could be no doubt that India is far ahead of a number of countries in terms of women's rights. The survey was similarly rejected by the Centre for the Study of Developing Societies on the grounds that it lacked transparency with respect to sample size and possible selection bias. The report has also been rejected by the Indian government. Union minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore criticized the Indian National Congress for using this survey to damage the reputation of the Modi government and that the survey that was based on "perception" and "afar from any solid facts or numbers".
Also in 2018, the Supreme Court of India struck down a law making it a crime for a man to have sex with a married woman without the permission of her husband.
Timeline of women's achievements in IndiaEdit
The steady change in the position of women can be highlighted by looking at what has been achieved by women in the country:
- 1848: Savitribai Phule, along with her husband Jyotibha Phule, opened a school for girls in Pune, India. Savitribai Phule became the first woman teacher in India. She was Indian reformer, educationalist and a poet from Maharashtra.
- 1879: John Elliot Drinkwater Bethune established the Bethune School in 1849, which developed into the Bethune College in 1879, thus becoming the first women's college in India.
- 1883: Chandramukhi Basu and Kadambini Ganguly became the first female graduates of India and the British Empire.
- 1886: Kadambini Ganguly and Anandi Gopal Joshi became the first women from India to be trained in Western medicine.
- 1898: Sister Nivedita Girls' School was inaugurated
- 1905: Suzanne RD Tata becomes the first Indian woman to drive a car.
- 1916: The first women's university, SNDT Women's University, was founded on 2 June 1916 by the social reformer Dhondo Keshav Karve with just five students.
- 1917: Annie Besant became the first female president of the Indian National Congress.
- 1919: For her distinguished social service, Pandita Ramabai became the first Indian woman to be awarded the Kaisar-i-Hind Medal by the British Raj.
- 1925: Sarojini Naidu became the first Indian born female president of the Indian National Congress.
- 1927: The All India Women's Conference was founded.
- 1936: Sarla Thakral became the first Indian woman to fly an aircraft.
- 1944: Asima Chatterjee became the first Indian woman to be conferred the Doctorate of Science by an Indian university.
- 1947: On 15 August 1947, following independence, Sarojini Naidu became the governor of the United Provinces, and in the process became India's first woman governor. On the same day, Amrit Kaur assumed office as the first female Cabinet minister of India in the country's first cabinet.
- Post independence:Rukmini Devi Arundale was the first ever woman in Indian History to be nominated a Rajya Sabha member. She is considered the most important revivalist in the Indian classical dance form of Bharatanatyam from its original 'sadhir' style, prevalent amongst the temple dancers, Devadasis. She also worked for the re-establishment of traditional Indian arts and crafts.
- 1951: Prem Mathur of the Deccan Airways becomes the first Indian woman commercial pilot.
- 1953: Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit became the first woman (and first Indian) president of the United Nations General Assembly
- 1959: Anna Chandy becomes the first Indian woman judge of a High Court (Kerala High Court)
- 1963: Sucheta Kriplani became the Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh, the first woman to hold that position in any Indian state.
- 1966: Captain Durga Banerjee becomes the first Indian woman pilot of the state airline, Indian Airlines.
- 1966: Kamaladevi Chattopadhyay wins Ramon Magsaysay award for community leadership.
- 1966: Indira Gandhi becomes the first woman Prime Minister of India
- 1970: Kamaljit Sandhu becomes the first Indian woman to win a Gold in the Asian Games
- 1972: Kiran Bedi becomes the first female recruit to join the Indian Police Service.
- 1978: Sheila Sri Prakash becomes the first female entrepreneur to independently start an architecture firm
- 1979: Mother Teresa wins the Nobel Peace Prize, becoming the first Indian female citizen to do so.
- 1984: On 23 May, Bachendri Pal became the first Indian woman to climb Mount Everest.
- 1986: Surekha Yadav became the first Asian woman loco-pilot or railway driver.
- 1989: Justice M. Fathima Beevi becomes the first woman judge of the Supreme Court of India.
- 1991: Mumtaz Kazi became the first Asian woman to drive a diesel locomotive in September.
- 1992: Asha Sinha becomes the First Woman Commandant in the Paramilitary forces of India when she was appointed Commandant, Central Industrial Security Force in Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited.
- 1992: Priya Jhingan becomes the first lady cadet to join the Indian Army (later commissioned on 6 March 1993)
- 1999: On 31 October, Sonia Gandhi became the first female Leader of the Opposition (India).
- The first Indian woman to win an Olympic Medal, Karnam Malleswari, a bronze medal at the Sydney Olympics in the 69 kg weight category in Weightlifting event.
- 2007: On 25 July, Pratibha Patil became the first female President of India.
- 2009: On 4 June, Meira Kumar became the first female Speaker of Lok Sabha.
- 2011: On 20 October, Priyanka N. drove the inaugural train of the Namma Metro becoming the first female Indian metro pilot.
- 2011:Mitali Madhumita made history by becoming the first woman officer to win a Sena Medal for gallantry.
- 2014: A record 7 female ministers are appointed in the Modi ministry, of whom 6 hold Cabinet rank, the highest number of female Cabinet ministers in any Indian government in history. Prestigious Ministries such as Defence and External Affairs are being held by Women Ministers.
- 2015: Sumita Bose the first author and first woman to write the autism book in India. http://indiabookofrecords.in/first-book-on-autism/
- 2016: J. Jayalalithaa, became the first woman chief minister in India to rule the state consecutively 2 times by winning legislative assembly election.
- 2016: J. Jayalalithaa, became the first woman chief minister in India to die in office on 5 December 2016.
- 2017: On 25 March, Tanushree Pareek became the first female combat officer commissioned by the Border Security Force.
- 2018: Archana Ramasundram of 1980 Batch became the first Woman to become the Director General of Police of a Paramilitary Force as DG, Sashastra Seema Bal.
- 2018: In February, 24 year old Flying Officer Avani Chaturvedi of the Indian Air Force became the first Indian female fighter pilot to fly solo. She flew a MiG-21 Bison, a jet aircraft with the highest recorded landing and take-off speed in the world.
India has one of the highest number of female politicians in the world. Women have held high offices in India including that of the President, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha and Leader of the Opposition. The Indian states Madhya Pradesh, Bihar, Uttarakhand, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand, Kerala, Karnataka, Maharashtra, Orissa, Rajasthan and Tripura have implemented 50% reservation for women in PRIs. Majority of candidates in these Panchayats are women. Currently 100% of elected members in Kodassery Panchayat in Kerala are women. There are currently 2 female chief ministers in India as of Sept 2018.
As of 2018, 12 out of 29 states and the union territory of Delhi have had at least one female Chief Minister.
The status of women in India is strongly connected to family relations. In India, the family is seen as crucially important, and in most of the country the family unit is patrilineal. Families are usually multi-generational, with the bride moving to live with the in-laws. Families are usually hierarchical, with the elders having authority over the younger generations, and men over women. The vast majority of marriages are monogamous (one husband and one wife), but both polygyny and polyandry in India have a tradition among some populations in India. Weddings in India can be quite expensive. Most marriages in India are arranged.
With regard to dress, a sari (a long piece of fabric draped around the body) and salwar kameez are worn by women all over India. A bindi is part of a woman's make-up. Despite common belief, the bindi on the forehead does not signify marital status; however, the Sindoor does.
Rangoli (or Kolam) is a traditional art very popular among Indian women.
In Indian culture, families usually start their day with worship.
In 1991, the Kerala High Court restricted entry of women above the age of 10 and below the age of 50 from Sabarimala Shrine as they were of the menstruating age. On 28 September 2018, the Supreme Court of India lifted the ban on the entry of women. It said that discrimination against women on any grounds, even religious, is unconstitutional.
"The Indian way of life provides the vision of the natural, real way of life. We veil ourselves with unnatural masks. On the face of India are the tender expressions which carry the mark of the Creator's hand.".....George Bernard Shaw
Military and law enforcementEdit
A female officer in the Indian Army briefing Russian soldiers during a joint exercise in 2015.
Women of the Border Security Force at the Indian Pakistan border.
The Indian Armed Forces began recruiting women to non-medical positions in 1992. The Indian Army began inducting women officers in 1992. The Border Security Force (BSF) began recruiting female officers in 2013. On 25 March 2017, Tanushree Pareek became the first female combat officer commissioned by the BSF.
On 24 October 2015, the Indian government announced that women could serve as fighter pilots in the Indian Air Force (IAF), having previously only been permitted to fly transport aircraft and helicopters. The decision means that women are now eligible for induction in any role in the IAF. In 2016, India announced a decision to allow women to take up combat roles in all sections of its army and navy.
As of 2014, women made up 3% of Indian Army personnel, 2.8% of Navy personnel, and 8.5% of Air Force personnel. As of 2016, women accounted for 5% of all active and reserve Indian Armed forces personnel.
In 1972 Kiran Bedi became the First Lady Indian Police Service Officer and was the only woman in a batch of 80 IPS Officers, she joined the AGMUT Cadre. In 1992 Asha Sinha a 1982 Batch IPS Officer became the First Woman Commandant in the Paramilitary forces of India when she was posted as Commandant, Central Industrial Security Force in Mazagon Dock Shipbuilders Limited. Kanchan Chaudhary Bhattacharya the second Lady IPS Officer of India belonging to the 1973 Batch became the first Lady Director General of Police of a State in India when she was appointed DGP of Uttarakhand Police. In 2018 an IPS Officer Archana Ramasundram of 1980 Batch became the first Woman to become the Director General of Police of a Paramilitary Force as DG, Sashastra Seema Bal. In March 2018, Delhi Police announced that it would begin to induct women into its SWAT team.
Education and economic developmentEdit
According to 1992–93 figures, only 9.2% of the households in India were headed by women. However, approximately 35% of the households below the poverty line were found to be headed by women.
Though it is sharply increasing, the female literacy rate in India is less than the male literacy rate. Far fewer girls than boys are enrolled in school, and many girls drop out. In urban India, girls are nearly on a par with boys in terms of education. However, in rural India, girls continue to be less educated than boys. According to the National Sample Survey Data of 1997, only the states of Kerala and Mizoram have approached universal female literacy. According to scholars, the major factor behind improvements in the social and economic status of women in Kerala is literacy.
Under the Non-Formal Education programme (NFE), about 40% of the NFE centres in states and 10% of the centres in UTs are exclusively reserved for women. As of 2000, about 300,000 NFE centres were catering to about 7.42 million children. About 120,000 NFE centres were exclusively for girls.
According to a 1998 report by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the chief barriers to female education in India are inadequate school facilities (such as sanitary facilities), shortage of female teachers and gender bias in the curriculum (female characters being depicted as weak and helpless).
The literacy rate is lower for women compared to men: the literacy rate is 60.6% for women, while for men it is 81.3%. The 2011 census, however, indicated a 2001–2011 decadal literacy growth of 9.2%, which is slower than the growth seen during the previous decade. There is a wide gender disparity in the literacy rate in India: effective literacy rates (age 7 and above) in 2011 were 82.14% for men and 65.46% for women. (population aged 15 or older, data from 2015).
Contrary to common perception, a large percentage of women in India are actively engaged in traditional and non-traditional work. National data collection agencies accept that statistics seriously understate women's contribution as workers. However, there are far fewer women than men in the paid workforce. In urban India, women participate in the workforce in impressive numbers. For example, in the software industry 30% of the workforce is female.
In rural India in the agriculture and allied industrial sectors, women account for as much as 89.5% of the labour force. In overall farm production, women's average contribution is estimated at 55% to 66% of the total labour. According to a 1991 World Bank report, women accounted for 94% of total employment in dairy production in India.
Women constitute 51% of the total employed in forest-based small-scale enterprises.
While men with 0–2 years of experience earned 7.8 percent higher median wages than women, in the experience group of 6–10 years of experience, the pay gap was 15.3 percent. The pay gap becomes wider at senior level positions as the men with 11 and more years of tenure earned 25 percent higher median wages than women.
Based on the educational background, men with a bachelor's degree earned on average 16 percent higher median wages than women in years 2015, 2016 and 2017, while master's degree holders experience even higher pay gap. Men with a four- or five-year degree or the equivalent of a master's degree have on average earned 33.7 percent higher median wages than women.
While India passed the Equal Remuneration Act way back in 1976, which prohibits discrimination in remuneration on grounds of sex, in practice, the pay disparity still exists.
One of the most famous female business success stories, from the rural sector, is the Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad. Started in 1959 by seven women in Mumbai with a seed capital of only Rs.80, it had an annual turnover of more than Rs. 800 crore (over $109 million) in 2018. It provides employment to 43,000 (in 2018) women across the country.
In 2006, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, who founded Biocon, one of India's first biotech companies, was rated India's richest woman. Lalita D. Gupte and Kalpana Morparia were the only businesswomen in India who made the list of the Forbes World's Most Powerful Women in 2006. Gupte ran ICICI Bank, India's second-largest bank, until October 2006 and Morparia is CEO of JP Morgan India.
Shaw remained the richest self-made woman in 2018, coming in at 72nd place in terms of net worth in Forbes's annual rich list. She was the 4th and last female in the list, thereby showing that 96 of 100 the richest entities in the country continued to be male controlled directly or indirectly.
According to the ‘Kotak Wealth Hurun – Leading Wealthy Women 2018’ list, which compiled the 100 wealthiest Indian women based on their net worth as on 30 June 2018 Shaw was only one of two women, the other being Jayshree Ullal, who did not inherit their current wealth from family relatives in the top ten.
However, India has a strong history of many women with inherited wealth establishing large enterprises or launching successful careers in their own rights.
Land and property rightsEdit
In most Indian families, women do not own any property in their own names, and do not get a share of parental property. Due to weak enforcement of laws protecting them, women continue to have little access to land and property. In India, women's property rights vary depending on religion, and tribe, and are subject to a complex mix of law and custom, but in principle the move has been towards granting women equal legal rights, especially since the passing of The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005.
The Hindu personal laws of 1956 (applying to Hindus, Buddhists, Sikhs, and Jains) gave women rights to inheritances. However, sons had an independent share in the ancestral property, while the daughters' shares were based on the share received by their father. Hence, a father could effectively disinherit a daughter by renouncing his share of the ancestral property, but a son would continue to have a share in his own right. Additionally, married daughters, even those facing domestic abuse and harassment, had no residential rights in the ancestral home. Thanks to an amendment of the Hindu laws in 2005, women now have the same status as men.
In 1986, the Supreme Court of India ruled that Shah Bano, an elderly divorced Muslim woman, was eligible for alimony. However, the decision was opposed by fundamentalist Muslim leaders, who alleged that the court was interfering in their personal law. The Union Government subsequently passed the Muslim Women's (Protection of Rights Upon Divorce) Act.
Similarly, Christian women have struggled over the years for equal rights in divorce and succession. In 1994, all churches, jointly with women's organizations, drew up a draft law called the Christian Marriage and Matrimonial Causes Bill. However, the government has still not amended the relevant laws. In 2014, the Law Commission of India has asked the government to modify the law to give Christian women equal property rights.
Crimes against womenEdit
Crime against women such as rape, acid throwing, dowry killings, honour killings, and the forced prostitution of young girls has been reported in India. Police records in India show a low incidence of crimes against women. The National Crime Records Bureau reported in 1998 that by 2010 growth in the rate of crimes against women would decrease than the usual. Earlier, many crimes against women were not reported to police due to the social stigma attached to rape and molestation. Official statistics show a dramatic decrease in the number of reported crimes against women.
A Thomas Reuters Foundation survey says that India is the fourth most dangerous place in the world for women to live in. The survey itself has been criticized for bias. Women belonging to any class, caste, creed or religion can be victims of this cruel form of violence and disfigurement, a premeditated crime intended to kill or maim permanently and act as a lesson to put a woman in her place. In India, acid attacks on women who dared to refuse a man's proposal of marriage or asked for a divorce are a form of revenge. Acid is cheap, easily available, and the quickest way to destroy a woman's life. The number of acid attacks has been rising.
Child marriage has been traditionally prevalent in India but is not so continued in Modern India to this day. Historically, child brides would live with their parents until they reached puberty. In the past, child widows were condemned to a life of great agony, shaved heads, living in isolation, and being shunned by society. Although child marriage was outlawed in 1860, it is still a common practice. The Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929 is the relevant legislation in the country.
According to UNICEF's "State of the World’s Children-2009" report, 47% of India's women aged 20–24 were married before the legal age of 18, rising to 56% in rural areas. The report also showed that 40% of the world's child marriages occur in India.
Domestic violence in India is endemic. Around 70% of women in India are victims of domestic violence, according to Renuka Chowdhury, former Union minister for Women and Child Development. Domestic violence was legally addressed in the 1980s when the 1983 Criminal Law Act introduced section 498A "Husband or relative of husband of a woman subjecting her to cruelty".
The National Crime Records Bureau reveal that a crime against a woman is committed every three minutes, a woman is raped every 29 minutes, a dowry death occurs every 77 minutes, and one case of cruelty committed by either the husband or relative of the husband occurs every nine minutes. This occurs despite the fact that women in India are legally protected from domestic abuse under the Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act.
In India, domestic violence toward women is considered as any type of abuse that can be considered a threat; it can also be physical, psychological, or sexual abuse to any current or former partner. Domestic violence is not handled as a crime or complaint, it is seen more as a private or family matter. In determining the category of a complaint, it is based on caste, class, religious bias and race which also determines whether action is to be taken or not. Many studies have reported about the prevalence of the violence and have taken a criminal-justice approach, but most woman refuse to report it. These women are guaranteed constitutional justice, dignity and equality but continue to refuse based on their sociocultural contexts. As the women refuse to speak of the violence and find help, they are also not receiving the proper treatment.
In 1961, the Government of India passed the Dowry Prohibition Act, making dowry demands in wedding arrangements illegal. However, many cases of dowry-related domestic violence, suicides and murders have been reported. In the 1980s, numerous such cases were reported.
In 1985, the Dowry Prohibition (maintenance of lists of presents to the bride and bridegroom) Rules were framed. According to these rules, a signed list should be maintained of presents given at the time of the marriage to the bride and the bridegroom. The list should contain a brief description of each present, its approximate value, the name of who has given the present, and relationship to the recipient. However, such rules are rarely enforced.
A 1997 report claimed that each year at least 5,000 women in India die dowry-related deaths, and at least a dozen die each day in 'kitchen fires' thought to be intentional. The term for this is "bride burning" and is criticised within India itself.
Female infanticide and sex-selective abortionEdit
In India, the male-female sex ratio is skewed dramatically in favour of men, the chief reason being the high number of women who die before reaching adulthood. Tribal societies in India have a less skewed sex ratio than other caste groups. This is in spite of the fact that tribal communities have far lower income levels, lower literacy rates, and less adequate health facilities. Many experts suggest the higher number of men in India can be attributed to female infanticides and sex-selective abortions. The sex ratio is particularly bad in the north-western area of the country, particularly in Haryana and Jammu and Kashmir.
Ultrasound scanning constitutes a major leap forward in providing for the care of mother and baby, and with scanners becoming portable, these advantages have spread to rural populations. However, ultrasound scans often reveal the sex of the baby, allowing pregnant women to decide to abort female foetuses and try again later for a male child. This practice is usually considered the main reason for the change in the ratio of male to female children being born.
In 1994 the Indian government passed a law forbidding women or their families from asking about the sex of the baby after an ultrasound scan (or any other test which would yield that information) and also expressly forbade doctors or any other persons from providing that information. In practice this law (like the law forbidding dowries) is widely ignored, and levels of abortion on female foetuses remain high and the sex ratio at birth keeps getting more skewed. 
Female infanticide (killing of infant girls) is still prevalent in some rural areas. Sometimes this is infanticide by neglect, for example families may not spend money on critical medicines or withhold care from a sick girl.
Continuing abuse of the dowry tradition has been one of the main reasons for sex-selective abortions and female infanticides in India.
Honor killings have been reported in northern regions of India, mainly in the Indian states of Punjab, Rajasthan, Haryana and Uttar Pradesh, as a result of the girl marrying without the family's acceptance, and sometimes for marrying outside her caste or religion. Haryana is notorious for incidents of honor killings, which have been described as "chillingly common in villages of Haryana". In contrast, honor killings are rare to non-existent in South India and the western Indian states of Maharashtra and Gujarat. In some other parts of India, notably West Bengal, honor killings completely ceased about a century ago, largely due to the activism and influence of reformists such as Vivekananda, Ramakrishna, Vidyasagar and Raja Ram Mohan Roy. In 2010, the Supreme Court of India issued notice in regard to honor killings to the states of Punjab, Haryana, Bihar, Uttar Pradesh, Rajasthan, Jharkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Madhya Pradesh.
Accusations of witchcraftEdit
Violence against women related to accusations of witchcraft occurs in India, particularly in parts of Northern India. Belief in the supernatural among the Indian population is strong, and lynchings for witchcraft are reported by the media. In Assam and West Bengal between 2003 and 2008 there were around 750 deaths related to accusations of witchcraft. Officials in the state of Chhattisgarh reported in 2008 that at least 100 women are maltreated annually as suspected witches.
Rape in India has been described by Radha Kumar as one of India's most common crimes against women and by the UN’s human-rights chief as a "national problem". Since the 1980s, women's rights groups lobbied for marital rape to be declared unlawful, but the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013 still maintains the marital exemption by stating in its exception clause under Section 375, that: "Sexual intercourse or sexual acts by a man with his own wife, the wife not being under fifteen years of age, is not rape". While per-capita reported incidents are quite low compared to other countries, even developed countries, a new case is reported every 20 minutes.
Eve teasing is a euphemism used for sexual harassment or molestation of women by men. Many activists blame the rising incidents of sexual harassment against women on the influence of "Western culture". In 1987, The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act was passed to prohibit indecent representation of women through advertisements or in publications, writings, paintings or in any other manner.
Of the total number of crimes against women reported in 1990, half related to molestation and harassment in the workplace. In 1997, in a landmark judgement[ambiguous], the Supreme Court of India took a strong stand against sexual harassment of women in the workplace. The Court also laid down detailed guidelines for prevention and redressal of grievances. The National Commission for Women subsequently elaborated these guidelines into a Code of Conduct for employers. In 2013 India's top court investigated on a law graduate's allegation that she was sexually harassed by a recently retired Supreme Court judge. The Sexual Harassment of Women at Workplace (Prevention, Prohibition and Redressal) Act came into force in December 2013, to prevent Harassment of women at workplace.
A study by ActionAid UK found that 80% of women in India had experienced sexual harassment ranging from unwanted comments, being groped or assaulted. Many incidents go unreported as the victims fear being shunned by their families.
Women's safety lawsEdit
- Guardians & Wards Act, 1890
- Indian Penal Code, 1860
- Christian Marriage Act, 1872
- Indian Evidence Act, 1872
- Married Women's Property Act, 1874
- Workmen's compensation Act, 1923
- Indian Successions Act, 1925
- Immoral Traffic (prevention) Act, 1956
- Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
- Commission of Sati(Prevention) Act, 1987
- Cinematograph Act, 1952
- Births, Deaths & Marriages Registration Act, 1886
- Minimum Wages Act, 1948
- Prevention of Children from Sexual Offences Act, 2012
- Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929
- Muslim Personal Law (Shariat) Application,1937
- Indecent Representation of Women(Prevention) Act,1986
- Special Marriage Act, 1954
- Hindu Marriage Act, 1955
- Hindu Successions Act, 1956
- Foreign Marriage Act, 1969
- Family Courts Act, 1984
- Maternity Benefit Act, 1961
- Hindu Adoption & Maintenance ACT, 1956
- Code of Criminal Procedure, 1973
- Medical Termination of Pregnancy Act, 1971
- National Commission for Women Act, 1990
- The Pre-conception and Pre-natal Diagnostic Techniques (Prohibition of Sex Selection) Act, 1994
- Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act, 2005
- Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act, 2013
- Indian Divorce Act, 1969
- Equal Remuneration Act, 1976
- Hindu Widows Remarriage Act, 1856
- Muslim women (protection of rights on divorce) Act, 1986
In the wake of several brutal rape attacks in the capital city of Delhi, debates held in other cities revealed that some men believed women who dressed provocatively deserved to get raped; many of the correspondents stated women incited men to rape them.
The degree to which women participate in public life, that is being outside the home, varies by region and background. For example, the Rajputs, a patrilineal clan inhabiting parts of India, especially the north-western area, have traditionally practiced ghunghat, and many still do to this day. In recent years however, more women have started to challenge such social norms: for instance women in rural Haryana are increasingly rejecting the ghunghat. In India, most population (about two thirds) is rural, and, as such, lives in tight-knit communities where it is very easy for a woman to ruin her family's 'honor' through her behavior. The concept of family honor is especially prevalent in northern India. Izzat is a concept of honor prevalent in the culture of North India and Pakistan. Izzat applies to both sexes, but in different ways. Women must uphold the 'family honor' by being chaste, passive and submissive, while men must be strong, brave, and be willing and able to control the women of their families. The rural areas surrounding Delhi are among the most conservative in India: it has been estimated that 30% of all honor killings of India take place in Western Uttar Pradesh, while Haryana has been described as "one of India's most conservative when it comes to caste, marriage and the role of women. Deeply patriarchal, caste purity is paramount and marriages are arranged to sustain the status quo."
In 2018 the Supreme Court of India lifted a centuries-old ban prohibiting women between the ages of 10 and 50 from entering Sabarimala temple in Kerala. In 2019 two women entered the temple under police protection. Hindu nationalists protested the women's entry and Sreedharan Pillai, State President of the Kerala branch of the nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party (of which Indian prime minister Narendra Modi is a member) described the women's entry into the temple as "a conspiracy by the atheist rulers to destroy the Hindu temples." Prime Minister Modi said, "We knew that the communists do not respect Indian history, culture and spirituality but nobody imagined they will have such hatred," The shrine is dedicated to the worship of Lord Ayyappa, a celibate deity, and adherents believe the presence of women would "pollute" the site and go against the wishes of the patron deity. The two women had to go into hiding after entering the temple and were granted 24 hour police protection. One of the women was locked out of her home by her husband and had to move in to a shelter. Dozens of women seeking entry to temple have since been turned back by demonstrators.
The average female life expectancy today in India is low compared to many countries, but it has shown gradual improvement over the years. In many families, especially rural ones, girls and women face nutritional discrimination within the family, and are anaemic and malnourished. Almost half of adolescent girls are chronically malnourished. In addition, poor nutrition during pregnancy often leads to birth complications.
The maternal mortality in India is the 56th highest in the world. 42% of births in the country are supervised in Medical Institution. In rural areas, most of women deliver with the help of women in the family, contradictory to the fact that the unprofessional or unskilled deliverer lacks the knowledge about pregnancy.
The average woman living in a rural area in India has little or no control over becoming pregnant. Women, particularly in rural areas, do not have access to safe and self-controlled methods of contraception. The public health system emphasises permanent methods like sterilisation, or long-term methods like IUDs that do not need follow-up. Sterilisation accounts for more than 75% of total contraception, with female sterilisation accounting for almost 95% of all sterilisations. The contraceptive prevalence rate for 2007/2008 was estimated at 54.8%.
Women from lower castesEdit
Lower caste women in India have seen significant improvement in their status. Educated and financially well-off Dalit women used politics to achieve status, however, that many Dalit women who were involved in politics later declined due to increasing income and educational levels. The status of Dalit women within households is also noted to have been improved.
India has a highly skewed sex ratio, which is attributed to sex-selective abortion and female infanticide affecting approximately one million female babies per year. In, 2011, government stated India was missing three million girls and there are now 48 less girls per 1,000 boys. Despite this, the government has taken further steps to improve the ratio, and the ratio is reported to have been improved in recent years.
The number of missing women totaled 100 million across the world. The male-to-female ratio is high in favor toward men in developing countries in Asia, including India, than that of areas such as North America. Along with abortion, the high ratio of men in India is a result of sex selection, where physicians are given the opportunity to incorrectly determine the sex of a child during the ultrasound. India currently has a problem known as the "missing women", but it has been present for quite some time. The female mortality in 2001 was 107.43. The deaths of these "missing women" were attributed to the death history rate of women in India starting in 1901.
The gap between the two gender titles is a direct response to the gender bias within India. Men and women in India have unequal health and education rights. Male education and health are made more of a priority, so women's death rates are increasing. The argument continues that a lack of independence that women are not allowed to have is a large contributor to these fatalities. Women in India have high fertility and get married at a young age. Those who are given more opportunity and rights are more likely to live longer and contribute to the economy rather than that of a woman expected to serve as a wife starting at a young age and continuing the same responsibilities for the rest of her life. As women continue to "disappear," the sex ratio turns its favor toward men. In turn, this offsets reproduction and does not allow for a controlled reproductive trend. While the excess mortality of women is relatively high, it cannot be blamed completely for the unequal sex ratio in India. However, it is a large contributor considering the precedence that Indian men have over women.
In rural areas, schools have been reported to have gained the improved sanitation facility. Given the existing socio-cultural norms and situation of sanitation in schools, girl students are forced not to relieve themselves in the open unlike boys. Lack of facilities in home forces women to wait for the night to relieve themselves and avoid being seen by others. Access to sanitation in Bihar has been discussed. According to an estimate from 2013, about 85% of the rural households in Bihar have no access to a toilet; and this creates a dangerous situation for women and girls who are followed, attacked and raped in the fields.
In 2011 a "Right to Pee" (as called by the media) campaign began in Mumbai, India's largest city. Women, but not men, have to pay to urinate in Mumbai, despite regulations against this practice. Women have also been sexually assaulted while urinating in fields. Thus, activists have collected more than 50,000 signatures supporting their demands that the local government stop charging women to urinate, build more toilets, keep them clean, provide sanitary napkins and a trash can, and hire female attendants. In response, city officials have agreed to build hundreds of public toilets for women in Mumbai, and some local legislators are now promising to build toilets for women in every one of their districts.
Lists of Indian women by profession:
- "Therefore, by the time of the Mauryan Empire the position of women in mainstream Indo-Aryan society seems to have uprisen. Customs such as child marriage and dowry were becoming entrenched; and a young women’s purpose in life was to provide sons for the male lineage into which she married. To quote the Arthashāstra: ‘wives are there for having sons’. Practices such as female infanticide and the neglect of young girls were possibly also developing at this time, especially among higher caste people. Further, due to the increasingly hierarchical nature of the society, marriage was possibly becoming an even more crucial institution for childbearing and the formalization of relationships between groups. In turn, this may have contributed to the growth of increasingly instrumental attitudes towards women and girls (who moved home at marriage). It is important to note that, in all likelihood, these developments did not affect people living in large parts of the subcontinent—such as those in the south, and tribal communities inhabiting the forested hill and plateau areas of central and eastern India. That said, these deleterious features have continued to blight Indo-Aryan speaking areas of the subcontinent until the present day."
- "Darkness can be said to have pervaded one aspect of society during the inter-imperial centuries: the degradation of women. ... The positions taken and the practices discussed by Manu and the other commentators and writers of dharmashastra are not quaint relics of the distant past, but alive and recurrent in India today – as the attempts to revive the custom of sati (widow immolation) in recent decades has shown. Child marriage, forced marriage, dowry and the expectation of abject wifely subservience, too, have enjoyed lengthy duration and continuity and are proving very difficult to stamp out."
- "The legal rights, as well as the ideal images, of women were increasingly circumscribed during the Gupta era. The Laws of Manu, compiled from about 200 to 400 C.E., came to be the most prominent evidence that this era was not necessarily a golden age for women. Through a combination of legal injunctions and moral prescriptions, women were firmly tied to the patriarchal family, ... Thus the Laws of Manu severely reduced the property rights of women, recommended a significant difference in ages between husband and wife and the relatively early marriage of women, and banned widow remarriage. Manu's preoccupation with chastity reflected possibly a growing concern for the maintenance of inheritance rights in the male line, a fear of women undermining the increasingly rigid caste divisions, and a growing emphasis on male asceticism as a higher spiritual calling."
- "In regions where social life was not influenced significantly by great warrior lineages – on the fringes of Mughal power, in the north-eastern mountains, the southern peninsula, Sri Lanka, and Nepal – marriage customs tend to elaborate local family ties, enhancing local identities. Women typically marry in or near their natal village. Marriage to kin is preferred. Female seclusion (pardah) is rare and rates of female participation in higher education and wage labour are normal. Women commonly work in public in fields, in shops, and in offices. Unmarried women often walk the streets and use public transport alone or with friends, both male and female. By contrast, in regions ruled by great warrior clans – in the heartlands of Mughal power across Afghanistan, Pakistan, Punjab, Rajasthan, Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and east across Bangladesh – extensive marriage networks are typical and the regional rank of families is critical. Marriage is normally forbidden within villages and to close kin. Families prefer women to marry at some distance from the natal village, and more so in high-status families. Pardah is widely practised, and as a result, women’s participation in education and wage labour is low. A woman’s place is definitely at home, where her virtue is the family honour. It is thus less common to see women working in public or travelling without male kin."
- "Reports of National Health & Family Survey, United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund, and WHO have highlighted that rates of malnutrition among adolescent girls, pregnant and lactating women, and children are alarmingly high in India. Factors responsible for malnutrition in the country include mother’s nutritional status, lactation behaviour, women’s education, and sanitation. These affect children in several ways including stunting, childhood illness, and retarded growth."
- "Rankings". United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)India.
- "Gender Inequality Index". United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- "The Global Gender Gap Report 2018" (PDF). World Economic Forum. pp. 10–11.
- "Rajya Sabha passes Women's Reservation Bill". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
- Dyson, Tim (2018), A Population History of India: From the First Modern People to the Present Day, Oxford University Press, p. 20, ISBN 978-0-19-882905-8
- Stein, Burton (2010), A History of India, John Wiley & Sons, pp. 90–, ISBN 978-1-4443-2351-1
- Ramusack, Barbara N. (1999), "Women in South Asia", in Barbara N. Ramusack, Sharon L. Sievers (ed.), Women in Asia: Restoring Women to History, Indiana University Press, pp. 27–29, ISBN 0-253-21267-7
- Ludden, David (2013), India and South Asia: A Short History, Oneworld Publications, p. 101, ISBN 978-1-78074-108-6
- Parihar, Lalita Dhar (2011). Women and law: from impoverishment to empowerment. Lucknow: Eastern Book Company. ISBN 9789350280591.
- Rao, Mamta (2008). Law relating to women and children (3rd ed.). Lucknow: Eastern Book Co. ISBN 9788170121329.
...women and the protection provided under various criminal, personal and labour laws in India
- Narayan, Jitendra; John, Denny; Ramadas, Nirupama (2018). "Malnutrition in India: status and government initiatives". Journal of Public Health Policy. 40 (1): 126–141. doi:10.1057/s41271-018-0149-5. ISSN 0197-5897. PMID 30353132.
- India + Rape and Sexual Assault, Guardian, retrieved 15 August 2019
- Saraswati English Plus. New Saraswati House. p. 47.
- Cite error: The named reference
infochange_womenwas invoked but never defined (see the help page).
- Nelasco, Shobana (2010). Status of women in India. New Delhi: Deep & Deep Publications. p. 11. ISBN 9788184502466.
- Ambassador of Hindu Muslim Unity, Ian Bryant Wells
- Kamat, Jyotsana (19 December 2006). "Gandhi and status of women (blog)". kamat.com. Kamat's Potpourri. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- Cite error: The named reference
nrcw_historywas invoked but never defined (see the help page).
- "Oxford University's famous south Asian graduates (Indira Gandhi)". BBC News. 5 May 2010.
- "Women related law:- All compiled – Into Legal World". Into Legal World. Archived from the original on 7 December 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
- "Women related law:- All compiled – Into Legal World". Into Legal World. Archived from the original on 7 December 2017. Retrieved 7 December 2017.
- Menon-Sen, Kalyani; Kumar, A.K. Shiva (2001). "Women in India: How Free? How Equal?". United Nations. Archived from the original on 11 September 2006. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- Velkoff, Victoria A.; Adlakha, Arjun (October 1998). Women of the World: Women's Health in India (PDF). U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration. Archived from the original (PDF) on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2006.
- Iype, George. "Ammu may have some similarities to me, but she is not Mary Roy". rediff. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- George Jacob (29 May 2006). "Bank seeks possession of property in Mary Roy case". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 May 2013.
- Jacob, George (20 October 2010). "Final decree in Mary Roy case executed". The Hindu. Retrieved 21 October 2010.
- Desk, The Hindu Net (28 September 2018). "Supreme Court upholds the right of women of all ages to worship at Sabarimala | Live updates". The Hindu. ISSN 0971-751X. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- "Women Of All Ages Can Enter Sabarimala Temple, Says Top Court, Ending Ban". NDTV.com. Retrieved 28 September 2018.
- "National policy for the empowerment of women". wcd.nic.in. Ministry of Women and Child Development. 2001. Archived from the original on 25 October 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- Rao, M.V.R. (27 October 2006). "Imrana: father-in-law gets 10 yrs, Muslim board applauds order". southasia.oneworld.net. OneWorld South Asia. Archived from the original on 27 September 2007. Retrieved 25 December 2006.
- Chowdhury, Kavita (16 June 2011). "India is fourth most dangerous place in the world for women: Poll". India Today. New Delhi: Living Media. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- Bowcott, Owen (15 June 2011). "Afghanistan worst place in the world for women, but InIn 2017dia in top five". The Guardian | World news. London. Retrieved 13 March 2014.
- Baldwin, Katherine (13 June 2012). "Canada best G20 country to be a woman, India worst – TrustLaw poll". Thomson Reuters Foundation News.
- Team FI (13 June 2012). "India ranked worst G20 country for women". feministsindia.com. FeministsIndia.
- Canton, Naomi (16 October 2017). "Sexual attacks: Delhi worst in world, says poll". The Times of India.
- "Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013" (PDF). Government of India. Archived from the original (PDF) on 17 April 2013. Retrieved 11 April 2013.
- PTI (28 June 2014). "Wife's jeans ban is grounds for divorce, India court rules". GulfNews.com. Retrieved 28 October 2015.
- "Supreme Court scraps instant triple talaq: Here's what you should know about the practice". 22 August 2017.
- "Small step, no giant leap". 23 August 2017.
- "Survey terms India most dangerous country for women". Dawn. 26 June 2018. Retrieved 26 June 2018.
- Bureau, Zee Media (27 June 2018). "National Commission for Women rejects survey that said India is most dangerous place for women". Zee News.
- "Is India really the most dangerous country for women?". BBC News. BBC. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
- "Poll on women's safety: Rajyavardhan Rathore attacks Congress for using 'fabricated facts' to damage govt's reputation". Firstpost. Press Trust of India. 28 June 2018. Retrieved 2 July 2018.
- Biswas, Soutik (27 September 2018). "Adultery no longer a crime in India". BBC News – via www.bbc.com.
- Regan, Helen (18 January 2019). "Indian woman is first to climb Kerala mountain reserved for men – CNN". Edition.cnn.com. Retrieved 31 January 2019.
- "Mumbai Police History". mumbaipolice.maharashtra.gov.in. Mumbai Police. Retrieved 4 March 2017.
- Centennial Team. "Sarla Thakral". centennialofwomenpilots.com. Institute for Women Of Aviation Worldwide (iWOAW). Archived from the original on 5 August 2017. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
- "72. Sarla Thakral : Women's Day: Top 100 coolest women of all time". IBN Live. Archived from the original on 6 December 2013. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
- "Down memory lane: First woman pilot recounts life story" (Video). NDTV. 13 August 2006. Retrieved 9 October 2013.
- "Former Chief Justices / Judges". highcourtofkerala.nic.in. High Court of Kerala. Archived from the original on 14 December 2006. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- "Kiran Bedi of India appointed civilian police adviser". un.org. United Nations. 10 January 2003. Retrieved 25 December 2006.
- "Asia's first woman to drive a diesel train is an Indian". Rediff. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- Ramamurthi, Divya (23 February 2003). "Always 001, Army's first lady cadet looks back". The Indian Express. Archived from the original on 5 February 2007. Retrieved 30 March 2007.
- Reporter, Staff (22 October 2011). "Young woman loco pilot has the ride of her life". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- "Women Cabinet Ministers in India". 1 July 2014.
- "First woman combat officer commissioned in BSF after 51 years". The Indian Express. 25 March 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- "9 facts about Avani Chaturvedi that will inspire you". Times of India. 22 February 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- "50pc reservation for women in panchayats". Oneindia News. 27 August 2009. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
- "50% reservation for women in AP, Bihar Panchayats". Sify News. 25 November 2011. Retrieved 28 July 2013.
- "Mayor Malayalam News". Mathrubhumi (in Malayalam). 26 November 2015.
- "Woman's Malayalam News". Mathrubhumi (in Malayalam). 24 November 2015.
- "India: Family". countrystudies.us. Country Studies.
- "Most Indians still prefer arranged marriages". The Times of India. 2 September 2014.
- "Hindu Red Dot". Snopes.com. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- "Culture of India – Find all about Indian Culture". www.mapsofindia.com. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Indian armed forces to recruit women for all combat roles: President". Reuters. 24 February 2016. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Officers Selection – Entry Schemes Women". joinindianarmy.nic.in. Join Indian Army, Government of India.
- "India paves way for women in military combat roles". Digital Journal. AFP. 24 October 2015. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Karat, Brinda (28 November 2014). "Indian Army's shameful treatment of women recruits". NDTV. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Delhi: In a first, 40 women to join elite SWAT team". The Indian Express. 7 March 2018. Retrieved 7 March 2018.
- "Asia's women in agriculture, environment and rural production: India". fao.org. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Archived from the original on 30 June 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2006. PDF version
- "Tamil Nadu population 2011–2018", 2011 Census Data, 2018
- Spary, Carole (2019), Gender, Development, and the State in India, Taylor & Francis, pp. 196–, ISBN 978-0-429-66344-4
- Varma, Subodh (2 August 2015). "Rise in women graduates almost double that of men in a decade". Times of India. TNN. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Singh, Shweta (2007). "Schooling girls and the gender and development paradigm: quest for an appropriate framework for women's education". The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences. 2 (3): 1–12. doi:10.18848/1833-1882/CGP/v02i03/59330. Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
- "Comparing costs & outcomes of formal & non-formal education programs for girls in Uttar Pradesh" (PDF). betifoundation.org. BETI Foundation (Better Education Through Innovation). Archived from the original (PDF) on 15 December 2013.
- Velkoff, Victoria A. (October 1998). Women of the World: Women's Education in India (PDF). U.S. Department of Commerce, Economics and Statistics Administration. Archived from the original (PDF) on 28 June 2011. Retrieved 25 December 2006.
- "The World Factbook: India". Central Intelligence Agency.
- "Women of India: Frequently Asked Questions (blog)". kamat.com. Kamat's Potpourri. 19 December 2006. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Singh, Shweta; Hoge, Gretchen (2010). "Debating outcomes for "working" women: illustrations from India". Journal of Poverty. 14 (2): 197–215. doi:10.1080/10875541003711821.
- "Gender pay parity recorded at 20% in 2017". People Matters. 26 September 2018. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- "The amazing Lijjat Papad story: from Rs 80 to Rs 800 crore". Yahoo Finance. 4 September 2017. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- "Amul celebrates the women it has empowered". Campaign India. 25 July 2013. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- Bahree, Megha (16 November 2009). "India's most powerful businesswomen". Archived from the original
|url=(help) on 23 September 2016.
- Advani, Abhishek (16 November 2009). "JP Morgan's India CEO". Forbes. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- "India's 100 Richest People 2018". Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- Ecavade, Sakshi (18 August 2018). "India's Top 10 Richest Women 2018". My India. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- Raghunatahan, Anu (4 October 2017). "India's 100 Richest 2017: Billionaire Heiresses Blazing Their Own Trail". Forbes. Retrieved 2 October 2018.
- Coonrod, Carol S. (June 1998). "Chronic hunger and the status of women in India". thp.org. The Hunger Project. Archived from the original on 10 September 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- Pandey, Shruti. Property rights of Indian women (PDF). South Africa: Law and Sharia Consultants.
- The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005 (PDF). Human Rights Law Network (HRLN). Archived from the original (PDF) on 19 March 2015.
- "The Hindu Succession (Amendment) Act, 2005". indiacode.nic.in. India Code Legislative Department. 5 September 2005. Retrieved 3 April 2012.
- "The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Divorce) Act". sudhirlaw.com. Sudhir Shah & Associates. May 1986. Archived from the original on 27 December 2007. Retrieved 14 February 2008.
- Rajagopal, Krishnadas (19 January 2018). "Property law unfair to Christian women: report". The Hindu.
- "Table 5.1", Crime in India 2012 Statistics (PDF), National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB), Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, p. 385, archived from the original (PDF) on 20 June 2014
- "Table", Intimate Partner Violence, 1993–2010 (PDF), Bureau of Justice Statistics, US Department of Justice, p. 10
- Tilak, Sudha G. (11 March 2013). "Crimes against women increase in India – Features". Al Jazeera English. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- Upreti, Deepak K. (14 November 2011). "India is home of unspeakable crimes against women". Deccan Herald. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- Kumar, Madhuri (8 March 2013). "Atrocities against women on the rise". The Times of India.
- Reuters (15 June 2011). "The world's 5 most dangerous countries For women: Thomson Reuters Foundation Survey". Thomas Reuters. Archived from the original on 28 June 2015. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Lakshmibai, Gayatri (22 August 2007). "The woman who conquered an acid attack". Asia Calling. KBR68H. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Carney, Scott (22 August 2007). "Acid Attacks on Women in India". NPR. Archived from the original on 24 August 2007. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
- Nadar, Ganesh (11 July 2011). "The woman who conquered an acid attack". Rediff news. Retrieved 22 August 2007.
- Thakur, Sunita (9 April 2008). "India's acid victims demand justice". BBC News. Retrieved 9 December 2012.
- Lawson, Alastair (24 October 2001). "Child marriages targeted in India". BBC News.
- UNICEF (2009). "Table 9: Child protection". In UNICEF (ed.). The state of the world's children 2009: maternal and new born health (PDF). UNICEF.
- Dhar, Aarti (18 January 2009). "40 p.c. child marriages in India: UNICEF". The Hindu. Chennai, India.
- Ganguly, Sumit (14 April 2012). "India's shame". The Diplomat. Retrieved 27 April 2012.
- Chowdhury, Renuka (27 October 2006). "India tackles domestic violence". BBC News. Retrieved 25 April 2012.
- UN Women (24 December 2012). "Confronting dowry-related violence in India: women at the center of justice". New York: UN Women.
- Mahapatro, Meerambika; Gupta, R.N.; Gupta, Vinay K. (August 2014). "Control and support models of help-seeking behavior in women experiencing domestic violence in India". Violence & Victims. 29 (3): 464–475. doi:10.1891/0886-6708.VV-D-12-00045. PMID 25069150.
- "The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961". wcd.nic.in. Ministry of Women and Child Development. 20 May 1961. Archived from the original on 28 August 2015. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- "The Dowry Prohibition (maintenance of lists of presents to the bride and bridegroom) rules, 1985". wcd.nic.in. Ministry of Women and Child Development. 19 August 1985. Archived from the original on 22 September 2014. Retrieved 6 March 2017.
- UPI (23 July 1997). "Kitchen fires kill Indian brides with inadequate dowry". United Press International. New Delhi.
- Chandramouli, C. (2011). Child sex ratio in India (PDF). India: Registrar General & Census Commissioner – via ActionAid.
- Gentleman, Amelia (9 January 2006). "India's lost daughters". The New York Times. Retrieved 2 June 2012.
- "Indian media express anger over 'honour killings'". BBC news. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Cook, Sharell (16 June 2010). "Honour killings in India (blog)". whiteindianhousewife.com. Diary of a White Indian Housewife / Daily Life in India. Archived from the original on 24 May 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2010.
- "India court seeks 'honour killing' response". BBC News. 21 June 2010. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Singh, Rao Jaswant (10 October 2008). "Branded witch, tribal woman forced to dip hands in hot oil". The Times of India. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Blakely, Rhys (24 November 2008). "Witchcraft is given a spell in India's schools to remove curse of deadly superstition". The Times. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Fifty 'witches' beaten by mob". Sky News. 22 December 2008. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
- Kumar, Radha (2003) , "The agitation against rape", in Kumar, Radha (ed.), The history of doing: an illustrated account of movements for women's rights and feminism in India 1800–1990, New Delhi: Zubaan, p. 128, ISBN 9788185107769.
- "India's women: Rape and murder in Delhi". The Economist. 5 January 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "The Criminal Law (Amendment) Act, 2013" (PDF). The Gazette of India. Government of India. 2013.
- Goel, Sharad (25 January 2013). "Lies, damned lies, rape, and statistics (blog)". Messy Matters. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Humphrey, John A.; Schmalleger, Frank (2012), "Mental illness, addictive behaviors, and sexual deviance", in Humphrey, John A.; Schmalleger, Frank (eds.), Deviant behavior (2nd ed.), Sudbury, Massachusetts: Jones & Bartlett Learning, p. 252, ISBN 9780763797737.
- Mohanty, Suchitra; Daniel, Frank Jack (6 January 2013). "Indian rape victim's father says he wants her named". Reuters. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Rape statistics around the world". India Tribune. 11 September 2012. Archived from the original on 8 March 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "Indian student gang-raped, thrown off bus in New Delhi". Arab News. Associated Press. 17 December 2012. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Ganguly, Meenakshi, South Asia director (29 December 2012). "India: Rape victim's death demands action". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "The Indecent Representation of Women (Prohibition) Act, 1987". wcd.nic.in. Ministry of Women and Child Development. 25 September 1987. Archived from the original on 22 September 2014. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- "India Supreme Court investigates ex-judge for sexual harassment". BBC News. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Bhalla, Nita (23 May 2016). "Almost 80 percent of Indian women face public harassment in cities – survey". Reuters. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act, 1956". wcd.nic.in. Ministry of Women and Child Development. Archived from the original on 20 October 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- "Guardians & Wards Act, 1890". Ministry of Women and Child Development. 21 March 1890. Archived from the original on 2 September 2015. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- "Indian Evidence Act, 1872". lawnotes.in. 1872. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "The Special Marriage Act, 1954". indiankanoon.org. Indiankanoon. 1954. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Sexual Harassment of Women at Work Place (Prevention, Prohibition & Redressal) Act, 2013" (PDF). The Gazette of India. Government of India. 2013. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 November 2016.
- Chamberlain, Gethin (24 March 2013). "'If girls look sexy, boys will rape.' Is this what Indian men really believe? | World news | Baga, Goa". The Observer. London: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Chamberlain, Gethin (1 February 2014). "Why young Indian men rationalize rape as something expected". Taipei Times. Taiwan. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Jolly, Asit (5 October 2012). "The ghunghat no longer works for me. It holds me back". India Today. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "The World Factbook: South Asia: India". Central Intelligence Agency.
- Cheesman, David (1997). "The backbone of the country". In Cheesman, David (ed.). Landlord power and rural indebtedness in colonial Sind, 1865–1901. Richmond, Surrey: Curzon Press. p. 99. ISBN 9780700704705.
... Izzat remains to this day a critical part of life throughout Pakistan and northern India. Maintaining izzat is a driving motivation for vast numbers of people, from all communities and classes and in every walk of life ...
- Vishwanath, Jyothi; Palakonda, Srinivas C. (January–December 2011). "Patriarchal ideology of honour and honour crimes in India" (PDF). International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences. 6 (1–2): 386–395.
- Jeelani, Gulam (29 October 2015). "30% honour killings of the country in west UP: AIDWA survey". News18.com. CNN. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Denyer, Simon (16 May 2008). "Haryana village proud after double "honour killing"". Reuters. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- "Protests Erupt In Southern India After Women Defy Centuries-Old Temple Ban". NPR. 2 January 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2018.
- "Woman who defied Indian temple ban 'shunned' by family". The Guardian. 23 January 2019. Retrieved 24 January 2010.
- Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA) (March 2014). India: Nutrition profile (PDF). USAID.
- "The World Factbook: Country Comparison: Maternal Mortality Rate". Central Intelligence Agency.
- S. Anandhi, Karin Kapadia (2017). Dalit Women: Vanguard of an Alternative Politics in India. Taylor & Francis. ISBN 9781351797184.
- Still, Clarinda (2015). Dalits in Neoliberal India: Mobility Or Marginalisation?. Routledge. p. 231.
- "Indian girl Infanticide-Female Fetocide: 1 million girls killed before or after birth per year". Rupee News. 28 September 2009. Archived from the original on 15 December 2012. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- PTI (9 October 2012). "India loses 3 million girls in infanticide". The Hindu. Chennai, India. Retrieved 20 February 2013.
- Ahmad, Faiz (21 August 2013). "Sex ratio in India showing improvement". National Turk. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- Basu, Alaka Malwade (April 1999). "Fertility decline and increasing gender imbalance in India, including a possible South Indian turnaround". Development and Change. 30 (2): 237–263. doi:10.1111/1467-7660.00116.
- Doskoch, P. (June 2006). "Skewed sex ratio of births in India may be the result of sex-selective abortion". International Family Planning Perspectives. 32 (2): 102–103.
- Lane, Trevor (June 2004). "Update: Contraceptive use around the globe / Child sex ratios continue to decline in India / Circumcision lowers risk of HIV, not other STIs / Herpes risk factors in rural Costa Rica / Fathers make a difference / Infant mortality in China rises with parity / Reproductive health among Caribbean youth / In brief". International Family Planning Perspectives. 30 (2): 56.
- Walker, Angela (13 August 2010). In rural India, improved sanitation and iron supplements help girls stay in school. India: UNICEF.
- Bisoee, Animesh (14 December 2013). "School minus loo is public urinal – Girls answer natures call outside campus; slum dwellers defecate on playground". The Telegraph. Calcutta, India. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Water, environment and sanitation. India: UNICEF.
- Tewary, Amarnath (9 May 2013). "India Bihar rapes 'caused by lack of toilets'". BBC News. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Yardley, Jim (15 June 2012). "In Mumbai, a campaign against restroom injustice". The New York Times. Retrieved 19 January 2018.
- Ali, Azra Asghar (2000). The Emergence of Feminism among Indian Muslim Women 1920–1947. Oxford University Press.
- Altekar, Anant Sadashiv (1956). The position of women in Hindu civilization, from prehistoric times to the present day. Motilal Banarsidass.
- Amin, Sonia Nishat (1996). The World of Muslim Women in Colonial Bengal, 1876–1939. Brill.
- Anagol, Padma (2010). "Feminist inheritances and foremothers: the beginnings of feminism in modern India". Women's History Review. 19 (4): 523–546. doi:10.1080/09612025.2010.502398.
- Traces the beginnings of feminism in modern India to social and religious reform movements in Maharashtra, Western India.
- Bader, Clarisse (2001) . Women in Ancient India. Trubner's Oriental Series. Routledge. ISBN 9780415244893.
- Banerjee, Swapna M. (June 2010). "Debates on domesticity and the position of women in late colonial India". History Compass. 8 (6): 455–473. doi:10.1111/j.1478-0542.2010.00688.x.
- Borthwick, Meredith (2015). The changing role of women in Bengal, 1849-1905. Princeton University Press.
- Brinks, Ellen (2016). Anglophone Indian Women Writers, 1870–1920. Routledge.
- Chakravarti, Uma (2003). Gendering Caste Through a Feminist Lens. Popular Prakashan. ISBN 9788185604541.
- Chaudhur, Maitrayee, ed. (2004). Feminism in India. Issues in Contemporary Indian Feminism. New Delhi: Kali for Women & Women Unlimited.
- Choudhary, Renu (June 2013). "Women in Indian society: a historical perspective" (PDF). Madhya Pradesh Journal of Social Sciences. 18 (1): 41–53.[permanent dead link][permanent dead link]
- Forbes, Geraldine (1999). Women in modern India. Cambridge University Press., A major scholarly survey.
- Gautier, Francois (2010). Femmes indiennes. (Nouvelle revue de l'Inde.) Paris: L'Harmattan.
- Healey, Madelaine (2014). Indian Sisters: A History of Nursing and the State, 1907–2007. Routledge.
- Joshi, Rama; Liddle, Joanna (1986). Daughters of independence: gender, caste, and class in India. New Brunswick: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 9780862324063.
- Joshi, Rama; Liddle, Joanna (October 2006). "Gender and colonialism: Women's organisation under the Raj" (PDF). Women's Studies International Forum. 8 (5): 521–529. doi:10.1016/0277-5395(85)90083-4.
- Madhu Kishwar, In Search of Answers: Indian Women's Voices (with Ruth Vanita, Zed Books, 1984). ISBN 0862321786.
- Madhu Kishwar, Women Bhakta Poets : Manushi (Manushi Publications, 1989). ASIN B001RPVZVU.
- Majumdar, R. C. (2014). Great women of India. Kolkata : 2014. Editors : Swami Madhavananda, Ramesh Chandra Majumdar
- Kumar, Radha (2003). The history of doing: an illustrated account of movements for women's rights and feminism in India 1800–1990. New Delhi: Zubaan, an Associate of Kali for Women. ISBN 9788185107769.
- Prema, A. (February 2012). "Women status in India". Indian Streams Research Journal. 2 (1): 1–4. PDF version
- Raman, Sita Anantha (2009). Women in India: A Social and Cultural History (2 vol.). ABC-CLIO.
- Sangari, Kumkum; Vaid, Sudesh, eds. (1990), Recasting Women: Essays in Indian Colonial History, Rutgers University Press, ISBN 9780813515809
- Sarkar, Sumit; Sarkar, Tanika (2008). Sarkar, Sumit; Sarkar, Tanika (eds.). Women and Social Reform in Modern India: A Reader. ISBN 978-0253220493.
- Seth, Sanjay (May 2013). "Nationalism, modernity, and the "woman question" in India and China". The Journal of Asian Studies. 72 (2): 273–297. doi:10.1017/S0021911812002215. JSTOR 43553178.
- Sharma, Tribat (1987). Women in Ancient India From 320 A.D. to C. 1200 A.D. New Delhi: ESS Publishers.
- Tharakan, Sophie M.; Tharakan, Michael (November–December 1975). "Status of Women in India: A Historical Perspective". Social Scientist. 4 (4–5): 115–123. doi:10.2307/3516124. JSTOR 3516124.
- Basu, Aparna (1991), "Women's History in India: An Historiographical Survey", in Offen, Karen; Pierson, Ruth Roach; Rendall, Jane (eds.), Writing Women's History: International Perspectives, Indiana University Press, p. 181, doi:10.1007/978-1-349-21512-6_10, hdl:2027/heb.03316.0001.001.
- Forbes, Geraldine Hancock (Spring 2003). "Reflections on South Asian Women's/Gender History: Past and Future". Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History. 4 (1). doi:10.1353/cch.2003.0012.
- Pande, Rekha (1999), "Women's History: India", in Boyd, Kelly (ed.), Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing vol 2, Taylor & Francis, pp. 1318–1321, ISBN 9781884964336.
- Ramusack, Barbara N. (1999), "Women in South Asia", in Ramusack, Barbara N.; Sievers, Sharon L. (eds.), Women in Asia: restoring women to history, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, ISBN 9780253212672.