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The situation of women and gender-specific violence in India

The gang rape and murder of a young woman in Delhi in December 2012 triggered mass protests and a worldwide debate about violence against women in India. Some laws are insufficient, but most commentators agree that the lack of security for women is mainly down to failure to punish rapists and other perpetrators of violence. The government commissioned a report to improve laws and implementation.

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Public security has so far not been a priority in India, while women traditionally rank low in society. Selective abortion and poorer care and education for girl children contributes to discrimination. For decades, fewer girls have grown to adulthood than boys, which has resulted in women being in the minority in India.

Women do not benefit from a status laid down in a unified civil code, so their position depends on their community. Political representation has, however, been greatly improved by introducing reserved seats on village councils.

In the economy, women generally receive lower salaries. Most work in the informal sector. Call centres are a generally positive example of recent employment opportunities for educated women.

Read the complete briefing here.

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