Through child marriages, female infanticides, and child trafficking, women in India become oppressed. This oppression subjugates the status of women to a status inferior to men, thereby initiating a vicious cycle in which the status of women seems to continuously deteriorates.
The marriage of children has been traditionally prevalent throughout India. A child marriage is a marriage between an older man and a woman less than the age of eighteen. As a result of the insinuations of dowry, where the family of the bride are often expected to pay large sums of money to the family of the groom, female children are already stigmatized (Lawson, 2001). Even with governmental acts, such as the Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961, the practice of dowry continues to thrive in India, and thereby causes pressure to the parents of female children to marry off their daughters as soon as possible, as suggested by the large amount of child marriages in India (UNICEF, 2009). The high frequency of child marriages that occur despite being outlawed in areas such as Rajasthan, suggest that the status of females are not deemed significant enough to merit enough interest from the government. (Lawson, 2001) Unfortunately, as the disregard for the rights of females continues to grow, so does the inhumane act of child marriages within India.
Female infanticides, or the killing of a newborn girl, are also a prevalent concern within India. There is a high masculine sex ratio present in India, due to high levels of female infanticide. (Menon-Sen, 2001) Connecting with the prevalent issue of child marriages, the pressure of dowry seems to exert force at promoting female infanticides, and through extrapolation, sex-selective abortions. From what can be ascertained through these two humanitarian concerns regarding gender is that, as a whole, India seems to devalue the worth of women, and ingrain a sense of worthlessness and burdening onto the image of being a woman. Legislation curbing sex-selective abortions and measures addressing societal female devaluation have exerted little to no force on changing the views of society (Sudha & Rajan, 1999). The lack of effort in making a change toward promoting the worth and status of women in society, coupled with the disregard of the government, is not only adding to the vicious cycle of the deterioration of the status of women in India, but also corroborating the gap between the status of men and the status of women.
Child trafficking, the recruitment, transport, and transfer of children through deceptive means, is another prevalent concern within India, especially with its focus on bringing young girls into prostitution (Bedi, 1997). Unlike the previous two aforementioned issues, which seemed to...