Female Infanticide Linked to Increase in Forced Marriages in India
Thursday, July 3, 2008 4:46 PM

The Toronto Star has published an article reporting that widespread female infanticide has led to a dearth of marriageable women in India, which social workers say is causing an increase in forced marriages. Although there are no statistics available on the forced marriage trend, the prevalence of female infanticide is well-documented. The Lancet, a British medical journal, has estimated that half a million abortions due to female gender occur annually in India. The 2001 census of India showed a national average of 927 girls for every 1,000 boys, and the ratios in some states were even more disproportionate.

Indian NGOs have collected numerous anecdotes of young women traveling to distant regions to marry men whose language and culture are unfamiliar to them, and who would otherwise have difficulty finding partners. Once they arrive, the women experience loneliness and culture shock. Their forced marriages are often intended to ease the financial burdens on their families by allowing them to avoid payment of a dowry. While many marriages are arranged through personal ties, other women are sold at auction by traffickers.

For the full article, click here.

Compiled from: Sonya Fatah, “Killing of baby girls triggers social upheaval in India,” Toronto Star, 30 June 2008