Women in India
The status of women in India has been subject to many great changes over the past few millennia. With a decline in their status from the ancient to medieval times, to the promotion of equal rights by many reformers, their history has been eventful. In modern India, women have held high offices including that of the President, Prime Minister, Speaker of the Lok Sabha, Leader of the Opposition, Union Ministers, Chief Ministers and Governors.
|Gender Inequality Index-2015|
|Rank||87th out of 144|
|Maternal mortality (per 100,000)||174|
|Women in parliament||12.2%|
|Females over 25 with secondary education||35.3% [M: 61.4%]|
|Women in labour force||28% [M: 82%]|
|Global Gender Gap Index-2016|
|Rank||87th out of 144|
As of 2011[update], the President of India, the Speaker of the Lok Sabha and the Leader of the Opposition in the Lok Sabha (Lower House of the parliament) were women. However, women in India continue to face numerous problems such as crime, gender inequality.
History of women in IndiaEdit
Women during the early Vedic period enjoyed equal status with men in all aspects of life. Works by ancient Indian grammarians such as Patanjali and Katyayana suggest that women were educated in the early Vedic period. Rigvedic verses suggest that women married at a mature age and were probably free to select their own husbands in a practice called swayamvar or live-in relationship called Gandharva marriage. Scriptures such as the Rig Veda and Upanishads mention several women sages and seers, notably Gargi and Maitreyi.
There are two types of women: those who become students of the Veda and those who marry immediately. Of these, the students of the Veda undergo initiation, kindle the sacred fire, study the Veda, and beg food in their own houses. In the case of those who marry immediately, however, when the time for marriage comes, their marriage should be performed after initiating them in some manner.
In medieval times, this was dismissed on the ground that this was only the case in a previous age (yuga). In approximately 500 BCE, the status of women began to decline. Although reform movements such as Jainism allowed women to be admitted to religious orders, by and large women in India faced confinement and restrictions. The practice of child marriages is believed to have started around the sixth century.
Several Dharmashastras mention the restricted role of women, such as the Manu Smriti: Her father guards her in her childhood; her husband guards her in her youth; and her sons guard her in her old age. A woman is not fit to act on her own. These were normative texts however, and descriptive statements do describe women participating independently and becoming vanaprastha (forest hermits) and saṃnyāsini (renouncers). Some kingdoms in ancient India had traditions such as nagarvadhu ("bride of the city"). Women competed to win the coveted title of nagarvadhu. Amrapali is the most famous example of a nagarvadhu.
The position of Indian women in society further deteriorated during the medieval period, when child marriages and a ban on remarriage by widows became part of social life in some communities in India. The Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent brought purdah to Indian society. Among the Rajputs of Rajasthan, the Jauhar was practised. In some parts of India, some of Devadasis were sexually exploited. Polygamy was practised among Hindu Kshatriya rulers for some political reasons. In many Muslim families, women were restricted to Zenana areas of the house.
Few texts exist that specifically deal with the role of women an important exception is the Stri Dharma Paddhati of Tryambakayajvan, an official at Thanjavur c. 1730. The text compiles strictures on women's behaviour dating back to the Apastamba sutra (c. 4th century BCE). The opening verse goes:
मुख्यो धर्मः स्मृतिषु विहितो भार्तृशुश्रुषानम हि
women are enjoined to be of service to their husbands.
In spite of these conditions, women often became prominent in the fields of politics, literature, education and religion. Razia Sultana(1205-1240) became the only woman monarch to have ever ruled Delhi. The Gond queen Durgavati(1524-1564) ruled for fifteen years before losing her life in a battle with Mughal emperor Akbar's general Asaf Khan in 1564. Chand Bibi defended Ahmednagar against the powerful Mughal forces of Akbar in the 1590s. Jehangir's wife Nur Jehan effectively wielded imperial power, and was recognised as the real power behind the Mughal throne. The Mughal princesses Jahanara and Zebunnissa were well-known poets, and also influenced the ruling powers. Shivaji's mother, Jijabai, was queen regent because of her ability as a warrior and an administrator. Tarabai was another female Maratha ruler. In South India, many women administered villages, towns, and divisions, and ushered in new social and religious institutions.
Traditions such as Sati, Jauhar, and Devadasi among some communities have been banned and are largely defunct in modern India. However, some instances of these practices are still found in remote parts of India. The purdah is still practiced by Indian women in some communities. Child marriage remains common in rural areas, although it is illegal under current Indian law.
Sati is an old, almost completely defunct custom among some communities, in which the widow was immolated alive on her husband's funeral pyre. Although the act was supposed to be voluntary on the widow's part, its practice is forbidden by the Hindu scriptures in Kali yuga, the current age. After the foreign invasions of Indian subcontinent, this practice started to mark its presence, as women were often raped or kidnapped by the foreign forces. It was abolished by the British in 1829. There have been around forty reported cases of sati since independence. In 1987, the Roop Kanwar case in Rajasthan led to The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act.
Jauhar refers to the practice of voluntary immolation by wives and daughters of defeated warriors, in order to avoid capture and consequent molestation by the enemy. The practice was followed by the wives of defeated Rajput rulers, who are known to place a high premium on honour. Evidently such practice took place during the Islamic invasions of India.
Devadasi is often misunderstood as religious practice. It was practised in southern India. Women were "married" to a deity or temple, disallowing them from ever marrying a mortal. After this, the women were sold into sex work, 'devoting themselves to a life of service to the goddess'. The ritual was well-established by the 10th century CE. By 1988, the practice was outlawed in the country, but it continues in some regions, usually involving girls of the lowest caste.
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).
While 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. Abbakka Rani, queen of coastal Karnataka, led the defence against invading European armies, notably the Portuguese in the 16th century. 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.
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] Though Mahatma Gandhi himself married 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, politics, media, art and culture, service sectors, 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).
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 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 report by Thomson Reuters, India is 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 its inaccuracy. 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. A poll in October 2017 was 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.
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.
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 Jyotirao Phule, opened a school for girls in Pune, India. Savitribai Phule became the first woman teacher in India.
- 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
- 1954: Ramakrishna Sarada Mission was formed for women monks.
- 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: Priya Jhingan becomes the first lady cadet to join the Indian Army (later commissioned on 6 March 1993)
- 1995: Mayawati first served as Chief Minister from 3 June 1995 to 18 October 1995. During this term, the new districts of Ambedkar Nagar district and Udham Singh Nagar district were created.
- 1999: On 31 October, Sonia Gandhi became the first female Leader of the Opposition (India).
- 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.
- 2017: On 25 March, Tanushree Pareek became the first female combat officer commissioned by the Border Security Force.
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 5 female chief ministers in India.
As of 2016, 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 the males over females. 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 by quite expensive. Most marriages in India are arranged.
With regard to dress, a sari (a long piece of fabric wound 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 there day by worshiping God and doing puja ("Arti"- Indian tradition to worship god).
"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
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.
Education and economic developmentEdit
According to 1992-93 figures, only 9.2% of the households in India were headed by females. However, approximately 35% of the households below the poverty line were found to be headed by females.
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 females. 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 females, while for males 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 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, females 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.
One of the most famous female business success stories is the Shri Mahila Griha Udyog Lijjat Papad. 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.
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 marital harassment, had no residential rights in the ancestral home. Thanks to 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 maintenance money. 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 years for equal rights in divorce and succession. In 1994, all churches, jointly with women's organisations, 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, honor killings, and the forced prostitution of young girls has been reported in India. Police records in India show a high 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 exceed the population growth rate. 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 increase 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. 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 have been rising.
Child marriage has been traditionally prevalent in India and continues 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. Amongst the urban educated, such dowry abuse has reduced considerably.
Female infanticide and sex-selective abortionEdit
In India, the male-female sex ratio is skewed dramatically in favour of males, the chief reason being the high number of females 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 males 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 girl infants) 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 people marrying without their family's acceptance, and sometimes for marrying outside their caste or religion. Haryana is notorious for incidents of honour 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.
The Immoral Traffic (Prevention) Act was passed in 1956. However many cases of trafficking of young girls and women have been reported. These women are either forced into prostitution, domestic work or child labour.
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,1861
- 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
Centre for Equality and Inclusion (CEQUIN), alternatively spelled in the press as Center for Equality and Inclusion, is a non-governmental organisation based in India that works towards female empowerment and women's rights.
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 practised purdah, 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."
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 women 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 number of males 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 women expected to serve as 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:
- "Gender Inequality Index". United Nations Development Programme. Retrieved 21 March 2017.
- "The Global Gender Gap Report 2016 - India". World Economic Forum.
- "Rajya Sabha passes Women's Reservation Bill". The Hindu. Chennai, India. 10 March 2010. Retrieved 25 August 2010.
- Jayapalan, N. (2001), "Status of women in Hindu society", in Jayapalan, N., Indian society and social institutions, New Delhi, India: Atlantic Publishers and Distributors, p. 145, ISBN 9788171569250. Preview.
- "Women in history". nrcw.nic.in. National Resource Center for Women. Archived from the original on 19 June 2009. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- 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
- Madhok, Sujata. "Women: Background & Perspective". InfoChange India. Archived from the original on 24 July 2008. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- Mishra, R. C. (2006). Women in India: towards gender equality. New Delhi: Authorspress. ISBN 9788172733063. Details.
- Varttika by Katyayana, 125, 2477
- Comments to Ashtadhyayi 3.3.21 and 4.1.14 by Patanjali
- Majumdar, R.C.; Pusalker, A.D. (1951). "Chapter XX: Language and literature". In Majumdar, R.C.; Pusalker, A.D. The history and culture of the Indian people, volume I, the Vedic age. Bombay: Bharatiya Vidya Bhavan. p. 394. OCLC 500545168.
- Olivelle (1993), p. 184
- Kamat, Jyotsana (January 2006). "Status of women in medieval Karnataka (blog)". kamat.com. Kamat's Potpourri. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- Manava Dharmasastra 9.3, cited in Olivelle (1993), p. 185
- Olivelle (1993), p. 189-190
- Singh, Shweta (2009), "Examining the Dharma driven identity of women: Mahabharata's Kunti", in Swami, Indu, The women question in the contemporary Indian women writings in English, New Delhi: Sarup Book Publishers, ISBN 9788176256087. Preview.
- Tryambakayajvan (1995). Stridharmapaddhati [The perfect wife (guide to the duties of women)]. Julia Leslie (translator). New Delhi New York: Penguin Books. ISBN 9780140435986.
- "Heart of Hinduism other social issues". Archived from the original on 7 September 2015. Retrieved 13 September 2013.
- Nubile, Clara (2003). "Indian women". In Nubile, Clara. The danger of gender: caste, class and gender in contemporary Indian women's writing. New Delhi: Sarup & Sons. p. 9. ISBN 9788176254021.
- Dang, Vimla (19 June 1998). "Feudal mindset still dogs women's struggle". The Tribune. Archived from the original on 19 December 2006. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- "The Commission of Sati (Prevention) Act, 1987". wcd.nic.in. Ministry of Women and Child Development. Archived from the original on 1 September 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- Jain, Pratibha; Śarmā, Saṅgītā (2004). Honour, status & polity. Jaipur: Rawat Publications. ISBN 9788170338598.
- Kamat, K.L. (19 December 2006). "The Yellamma Cult (blog)". kamat.com. Kamat's Potpourri. Retrieved 25 December 2006.
- "Devadasi (definition)", Encyclopædia Britannica, 2007 Retrieved 4 July 2007.
- London Missionary Society, ed. (1869). Fruits of Toil in the London Missionary Society. London: John Snow & Co. p. 12. OCLC 746963117. Retrieved 12 September 2016.
- Saraswati English Plus. New Saraswati House. p. 47.
- 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.
- "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. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
- "Women related law:- All compiled - Into Legal World". Into Legal World. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
- "Women related law:- All compiled - Into Legal World". Into Legal World. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
- "Women related law:- All compiled - Into Legal World". Into Legal World. Retrieved 2017-12-07.
- 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.
- "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.
- PTI (2014-06-28). "Wife's jeans ban is grounds for divorce, India court rules". GulfNews.com. Retrieved 2015-10-28.
- "Supreme Court scraps instant triple talaq: Here's what you should know about the practice".
- "Small step, no giant leap".
- "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). 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. "Young woman loco pilot has the ride of her life". The Hindu. Retrieved 12 March 2017.
- "First woman combat officer commissioned in BSF after 51 years". The Indian Express. 25 March 2017. Retrieved 25 March 2017.
- "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 2017-10-25.
- Reuters/jb (24 February 2016). "Indian armed forces to recruit women for all combat roles: President". Channel NewsAsia. Archived from the original on 10 March 2016.
- "Officers Selection - Entry Schemes Women". joinindianarmy.nic.in. Join Indian Army, Government of India.
- AFP/ec (24 October 2015). "India paves way for women in military combat roles". Channel NewsAsia.
- Karat, Brinda (28 November 2014). "Indian Army's shameful treatment of women recruits". NDTV.
- "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.
- 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. The Social Sciences Collection. 2 (3): 1–12.
- "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". cia.gov. Central Intelligence Agency.
- "Women of India: Frequently Asked Questions (blog)". kamat.com. Kamat's Potpourri. 19 December 2006. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- Singh, Shweta; Hoge, Gretchen (2010). "Debating outcomes for "working" women: illustrations from India". Journal of Poverty. Taylor and Francis. 14 (2): 197–215. doi:10.1080/10875541003711821.
- Bahree, Megha (30 August 2006). "India's most powerful businesswomen". Forbes. Archived from the original on 23 September 2016.
- Advani, Abhishek (16 November 2009). "JP Morgan's India CEO". Forbes. Retrieved 23 January 2012.
- 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).
- "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 (15 September 2014). "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. 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. Springer. 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 (powerpoint presentation) (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.
- BBC Monitoring (20 September 2013). "Indian media express anger over 'honour killings'". BBC news.
- 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.
- Staff writer (21 June 2010). "India court seeks 'honour killing' response". BBC News.
- Singh, Rao Jaswant (10 October 2008). "Branded witch, tribal woman forced to dip hands in hot oil". The Times of India.
- Blakely, Rhys (24 November 2008). "Witchcraft is given a spell in India's schools to remove curse of deadly superstition". The Times.
- Staff writer (22 December 2008). "Fifty 'witches' beaten by mob". Sky News. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016.
- Kumar, Radha (2003) , "The agitation against rape", in Kumar, Radha, 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. Preview.
- "India's women: Rape and murder in Delhi". The Economist. 5 January 2013. Retrieved 7 January 2013.
- "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 17 March 2013.
- Humphrey, John A.; Schmalleger, Frank (2012), "Mental illness, addictive behaviors, and sexual deviance", in Humphrey, John A.; Schmalleger, Frank, 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 17 March 2013.
- "Rape statistics around the world". India Tribune. 11 September 2012. Archived from the original on 8 March 2015. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- Associated Press (17 December 2012). "Indian student gang-raped, thrown off bus in New Delhi". Arab News.
- Ganguly, Meenakshi, South Asia director (29 December 2012). "India: Rape victim's death demands action". Human Rights Watch. Retrieved 15 March 2013.
- "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 16 September 2015. Retrieved 24 December 2006.
- Staff writer (12 November 2013). "India Supreme Court investigates ex-judge for sexual harassment". BBC News.
- Bhalla, Nita (23 May 2016). "Almost 80 percent of Indian women face public harassment in cities - survey". Reuters. Retrieved 30 October 2016.
- "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". wcd.nic.in. 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. Law Notes.in. 1872. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- "The Special Marriage Act, 1954". indiankanoon.org. Indiankanoon. 1954. Retrieved 7 March 2017.
- "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 7 February 2014.
- Chamberlain, Gethin (1 February 2014). "Why young Indian men rationalize rape as something expected". Taipei Times. Taiwan. Retrieved 7 February 2014.
- Jolly, Asit (5 October 2012). "'The ghunghat no longer works for me. It holds me back'". India Today.
- "The World Factbook: South Asia: India". cia.gov. Central Intelligence Agency.
- Cheesman, David (1997). "The backbone of the country". In Cheesman, David. 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 ...Preview.
- Vishwanath, Jyothi; Palakonda, Srinivas C. (January–December 2011). "Patriarchal ideology of honour and honour crimes in India" (PDF). International Journal of Criminal Justice Sciences. South Asian Society of Criminology and Victimology. 6 (1–2): 386–395.
- Jeelani, Gulam (29 October 2015). "30% honour killings of the country in west UP: AIDWA survey". News18.com. CNN.
- Denyer, Simon (16 May 2008). "Haryana village proud after double "honour killing"". Reuters.
- Food and Nutrition Technical Assistance (FANTA) (March 2014). India: Nutrition profile (PDF). USAID.
- "The World Factbook: Country Comparison: Maternal Mortality Rate". cia.gov. Central Intelligence Agency.
- S. Anandhi, Karin Kapadia (2017). https://books.google.com/books?id=7TgkDwAAQBAJ. Taylor & Francis. External link in
- Clarinda Still (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. Wiley. 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. Guttmacher Institute. 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. Guttmacher Institute. 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.
- UNICEF. Water, environment and sanitation. India: UNICEF.
- Tewary, Amarnath (9 May 2013). "India Bihar rapes 'caused by lack of toilets'". BBC News.
- Yardley, Jim (15 June 2012). "In India, a campaign against restroom injustice". The New York Times.
- 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 Publ.
- 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. Taylor and Francis. 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. Details.
- Banerjee, Swapna M. (June 2010). "Debates on domesticity and the position of women in late colonial India". History Compass. Wiley. 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. Details.
- 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. Madhya Pradesh Institute of Social Science Research. 18 (1): 41–53.
- Forbes, Geraldine (1999). Women in modern India. Cambridge University Press., A major scholarly survey.
- 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". Women's Studies International Forum. ScienceDirect. 8 (5): 521–529. doi:10.1016/0277-5395(85)90083-4. Pdf.
- 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. Details.
- Prema, A. (February 2012). "Women status in India". Indian Streams Research Journal. Laxmi Book Publication. 2 (1): 1–4. Pdf.
- Raman, Sita Anantha (2009). Women in India: A Social and Cultural History (2 vol.). ABC-CLIO. online
- Sangari, Kumkum; Vaid, Sudesh, eds. (1990), Recasting Women: Essays in Indian Colonial History, Rutgers University Press, ISBN 9780813515809
- Sarkar, Sumit; Sarkar, Tanika, eds. (2008). Women and Social Reform in Modern India: A Reader. Excerpt.
- Seth, Sanjay (May 2013). "Nationalism, modernity, and the "woman question" in India and China". The Journal of Asian Studies. Cambridge Journals. 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. Indian School of Social Sciences. 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, Writing Women's History: International Perspectives, p. 181. Details.
- Forbes, Geraldine Hancock (Spring 2003). "Reflections on South Asian Women's/Gender History: Past and Future". Journal of Colonialism and Colonial History. Johns Hopkins University Press. 4 (1). doi:10.1353/cch.2003.0012.
- Pande, Rekha (1999), "Women's History: India", in Boyd, Kelly, Encyclopedia of Historians and Historical Writing vol 2, Taylor & Francis, pp. 1318–1321. Preview.
- Ramusack, Barbara N. (1999), "Women in South Asia", in Ramusack, Barbara N.; Sievers, Sharon L., Women in Asia: restoring women to history, Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press, ISBN 9780253212672.