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As most or all other societies in the world, India is a patriarchal society affecting girls and boys, women and men from before they are even born until they die. According to the United Nations 62 million girls and women are missing in India. Some were aborted because they were girl foetuses, some were killed when they were new born, and some were murdered later in life. There are many reasons to why girls are not wanted. At the weddings the girl’s family is supposed to pay dowry to the boy’s family, sometimes amounts worth a lifetime’s savings. Many poor families simply cannot afford marrying off their daughters, and having a non-married daughter is considered to be a shame for the family. The newly married woman moves to the husband’s family and thereby looses her friends and safety nets. Since girls are going to be married off to another family, when choosing whom to send to school most families  prioritise the boys.

Widows face severe difficulties in many communities, sometimes they are even blamed for the death of their husbands. In some communities they are not allowed to participate at functions such as weddings or other events. The women’s movement is fighting against sexual harassment and dowry, and for increased political participation. They have recently managed to lobby through a reservation system regarding political representation.

A patriarchal society

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