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Femicide of girls in contemporary India

Asia and the Pacific


While the study of femicide has progressed recently, research into the femicide of girls is still new. The femicide of girls is the murder of girls because they are girls, and because they would have grown up to be women. This article examines different forms of girl femicide in India, a country traditionally associated with sati and infanticide. Several types of femicide in India have been identified, ranging from foeticide to intimate partner femicide, and including dowry marriage femicides, «honor»-related killings and other forms of femicide. These killings are perpetrated against a weakened minority – women – and an even more weakened minority – girls. Often they are aimed at the weakest elements in society: girls hailing from Dalit, other oppressed communities.

External Authors

Shalva Weil
Nishi Mitra
In colonial India, certain forms of girl femicide were associated with ancient Hinduism. The most infamous was sati, the Hindu practice of self immolation after the death of a husband. Coerced sati was tantamount to femicide, according to modern definitions, but it is important to point out that in practice most satis were child widows, and de facto they were girl femicides.




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