India has an increasingly modern image and a history of electing female politicians to high office. But the world’s largest democracy is also the fourth most dangerous country in the world for women, according to TrustLaw.
Top issues for women are female feticide (selective abortion and infanticide), child marriage, women trafficking, and domestic servitude.
The problem of selective abortion has received significant attention lately for the way it is likely to skew the makeup of India’s future population – in 2009, only 914 girls were born for every 1,000 boys nationwide, according to a report from The Christian Science Monitor. The government has taken to offering towns financial rewards for managing to reverse the trend.
Former Home Secretary Madhukar Gupta estimates that 100 million people, mostly females, are involved in trafficking in the country – not just sex trafficking, but also forced labor and marriage. About 45 percent of girls are married before they turn 18. India registered the highest trafficking risk among the countries in the poll, according to TrustLaw.