…Because the amount of infanticide being used on India’s girl babies has increased.
In 1870, the practice of infanticide was made illegal in India and is a criminal offense. So it did decrease for a while. But like most other illegal activities, people found ways to do it anyway.
Birthing a girl in India is considered a burden. Due to misogynistic notions that are pervasive in India, people tend to think that having a girl is “useless.” In olden times, women wouldn’t get an education or get to work, so they weren’t bringing in any money. They “cost money” to marry off. And they didn’t carry down the family name. (Of course, none of this would have been relevant if women had had equal rights from the beginning, but I digress) So having a son is seen as a blessing, but not a daughter.
Even though infanticide is illegal, it’s still very much ubiquitous. It’s gotten a bit better in more developed cities, but it’s widespread in rural areas and villages, where thoughts haven’t changed much, and they simply can’t “afford” to have a daughter. People smother their babies after they’re born (or kill them in other horrific ways), and discard of the body. It’s such an awful practice that’s still able to happen because of old, sexist thoughts.
According to research, by 2031, the number of women in India will decrease drastically. The ration of women to men will be about 30 to 70.
Child marriages have gone down significantly. In India, child marriage is also a huge problem because if they don’t kill their daughter, they want to get rid of her as soon as possible, give the responsibility to someone else. Over the years, the percentage of underage girls getting married off has decreased from 69.5% to 19.5%. But this is also very much due to the fact that there simply are not even that many women left in India, and it’s only getting worse. The population of men is rampantly increasing, which is concerning because the new generations of men will also absorb such sexist notions and believe that there’s a reason they’re in the majority. This one problem is feeding into a multitude of other problems that will create a cycle that is hard to break out of.
India has improved a lot and is still rising out of poverty from colonization, but still has a far way to go in terms of protecting its girls.