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The role and position of North and South Indian women: The problem of female infanticide, dowry burning and Sati

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  1. Introduction
  2. Northern and the Southern regions
  3. The problems of the position of women within Hindu society
  4. Hindu women in religion
    1. The central cause of behavior
    2. The Hindu woman under the laws of the Dharmashastras
    3. The languages in the South
    4. Indo-Aryans and Vedas
    5. The protection of the male lineage
    6. The daily ritual
  5. Hindu marriage, kinship and ritual in North India
    1. The proper Hindu form of family
    2. A virgin to the family
    3. The dowry system
    4. Dowry deaths
    5. Dharmashastras
  6. Hindu marriage, kinship and ritual in South India
    1. Marriage systems of the South
    2. The traditions of the Vedas
    3. The practice of brideprice
  7. The downgrading of female position in India through Hindu custom
  8. Conclusion

The North and the South of India is different in terms of language, custom and religion. In fact, language, custom and religion itself is prone to regional differences even down to the village level. However, despite these differences even in the village level, a homogenous explanation can be attempted in terms of the differences between the North and the South and in particular in this essay regarding Northern and Southern Indian women. The theme in this essay is to explore the differences between the North and the South and how these differences contribute to the increasing number of female infanticide in both regions, the problem of dowry burnings and at a smaller scale, the problem of Sati or the burning of the widow in the funeral pyre of her husband. In the context of these three problems which have sparked worldwide concern we can understand the role and position of Indian women both in the North and the South.

[...] With the above explanations in mind we now turn to the problems of the position of women within Hindu society both in the North and South as they are portrayed by the international mass media. In the most recent article written by Tim Sullivan on female infanticide titled ?India's Lost Girls', a majority of Hindu society still has more preference over male children than they do female children. Despite modernization and globalization female children still retain a lower position than male children because it is believed that male children are able to provide for their elders. [...]


[...] HEYER, JUDITH 1992 role of dowries and daughter's marriages in the accumulation and distribution of capital in a south Indian community?. In Journal of International Development Studies 419-436. KRISHNAMURTHI, LATHA 1991 ?Human Rights of the Girl Child?. In Girl Child in India, Leelama Devasia & V.V. Devasia, eds. New Delhi: Ashish Publishing House. 39-49. MALONEY, CLARENCE 1974 Peoples of South Asia. New York: Holt, Rinehart and Winston. MANDELBAUM, DAVID G Society in India. Berkeley and Los Angeles: California University Press. [...]


[...] Usually, the method of dowry deaths is by burning as this would not leave any evidence but other easy ?traditional' methods could also be used such as drowning of the bride while fetching water from a well and poisoning of the bride by accident. It is well worth nothing that there is a prohibition on widow remarriage, this is not the case for the widower, he may marry after his wife passes away. For example in Delhi alone there is a rate of 13.9 percent per 1 million inhabitants, a very large number. [...]

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