- Selective abortion and female infanticide :
It is the act of aborting a fetus because it is female. Foetal sex determination and sex selective abortion by medical professionals has today grown into a Rs. 1,000 crore industry (US$ 244 million). Social discrimination against women and a preference for sons have been promoted .According to the decennial Indian census, the sex ratio in the 0-6 age group in India went from 104.0 males per 100 females in 1981, to 105.8 in 1991, to 107.8 in 2001, to 109.4 in 2011. The ratio is significantly higher in certain states such as Punjab and Haryana (126.1 and 122.0, as of 2001).
- Dowry and Bride burning:
Marriage very often is a financial transaction in India. With economic prosperity our greed has only grown. Rich and poor alike expect to make a small fortune when they get their sons married. Demands are often made on the bride’s family with not the least amount of compunction. It is no surprise then that this is one of the main reasons why families prefer to put girls to sleep in the womb. The cavernous greed of the groom’s family is sometimes not even satiated with the booty it acquires on marriage and iterative demands are made thereafter. The worst casualty in this is the dignity of the young woman as well as her family.Non fulfillment of demands sometimes spells death for the woman. According to the Indian National Crime Bureau reports there were about 6787 dowry death cases registered in India in 2005, a 46% jump over 1995 level of 4,648, which was 10-fold more than the figure of 400 deaths a year in the 80s.
- Domestic violence :
It is endemic and widespread. Around 70% of women in India are victims to domestic violence according to Renuka Chowdhury junior minister for women and child development. National Crime Records Bureau reveal that a crime against a women is committed every three minutes, a women 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 victim.
- Disparity in education :
Girl education is another area that is languishing in our country. According to last census held in 2001, female literacy in the country stood at 54.16%, the highest ever. However the figure is still a good 20 percentage points less than that of their male counterpart. The disparity is even higher in rural areas where over 63% or more women remain unlettered.
- Child Marriages:
Many people marry their daughters off as children to escape dowry.In rural India,70% girls are married before 18 and 56% of those married bear children before 19.
- Inadequate Nutrition:
One of most understated problems facing the Indian girl child is that of poor nutrition. Girls belonging to the lower middle class and poor families suffer the most. Because of limited incomes it is an unsaid rule that while the male siblings are provided with milk, fruit and eggs, the girl but has to make do with the regular rice and lentil or sometimes even less. It is for this reason that girls are more susceptible to poor health and disease.
Various surveys indicate that women’s caloric content is about 100 calories (per women per day) less than they spend, whereas men show an 800 caloric surplus intake. Women expend a great deal of energy working inside and outside the house, whereas they often have insufficient food.It has also lead to many cases of Death During Childbirth.
- Sexual harassment:
Among the worst countries in crime, India has an abhorrent track record in all forms of sexual exploitation. In homes, on streets, in public transports, at offices, even on vacations. No place is safe. And the most terrible fall out of this is the lack of self worth and feeling of degradation following the emotional and physical trauma that constant harassment creates. Such is the recurrence of these incidents that Delhi has earned the ignoble nickname of the ‘Rape Capital’. While most cases go unreported as it is considered an act that puts one to shame, only 20% of the registered cases for sexual harassment reach actual conviction.
In every 10 rape cases,6 are of minor girls.
Every 7 minutes, a crime is committed against women.
Every 26 minutes, a women is molested.
Every 34 minutes, a rape takes place.
Every 42 minutes, a sexual harassment incident occurs.
Every 43 minutes, a women is kidnapped.
Every 93 minutes, a women is burnt to death over dowry.
A shameful plight!!!
- Domestic violence and status in the family:
Marital bliss, certainly not. A study conducted in 2004 across spectrum showed that 60-80% women face some sort of abuse or violence in marriage. Worse still, over half the women in India feel this to be perfectly normal. Physical abuse immediately relegates a wife to an inferior status where her main purpose is to serve than to be a partner.
A paper published in International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory shows that in 2007 there were 20,737 reported case of rape, 8,093 cases of death due to dowry, 10,950 cases of sexual harassment with total crime of 185312.A U.N. Population Fund report claimed that up to 70 percent of married women aged 15–49 in India are victims of beatings or coerced sex.
- Status of widows:
The genesis of the problem lies in the culture of our country where a widow is considered worthless and inauspicious. While the practice is on the decline, women who have lost their husbands are still forced to don only white garments and shave their heads etc. They are treated poorly, hardly given proper food and sometimes altogether abandoned as one can witness in the streets of Vrindavan and Varanasi.
- Military Service:
Women are not allowed to have combat roles in the armed forces. According to a study carried out on this issue, a recommendation was made that female officers be excluded from induction in close combat arms, where chances of physical contact with the enemy are high. The study also held that a permanent commission could not be granted to female officers since they have neither been trained for command nor have they been given the responsibility so far.
- Equal pay for equal work:
While there have been several court rulings guaranteeing the right of earning the same pay for the same amount of work, it remains a distant reality in practice. This is particularly true of the unorganized sector especially dealing with manual labour where the Minimum Wage Act norms are often violated. Besides these women get no maternity leave, or proper transportation facilities especially in the night shifts. Unequal pay for the same job happens to be one problem that men sometimes face as well.
- Property rights:
While the law of the land enshrines equal property distribution to the family of the deceased in the absence of a will irrespective of the sex, this is again normally just on paper. In practice most families leave daughters out of property rights and payment or dowry is symbolic of the girl’s disinheritance vis-à-vis finance. Besides different religions have different takes on the matter.