Since the 1980s, millions of girls have been eliminated in India through sex selective abortions and starvation of baby girls.
The preference of boys mainly lies on tradition: boys can perform their parents’ last religious rites, inherit the family’s patrimony and carry on the father’s name. Girls are considered a financial burden: their dowry and wedding can cost their family’s life savings. If they don’t pay, violence can turn into murder. Around 7,000 dowry-related crimes are reported to the police every year.
Thirty years of sex selective births have created a shortage of girls in India, leaving many young men with no eligible brides. Bride-selling has developed in recent years, with women bought from poor Indian families or brought from other countries. Some end up raped by bride traffickers or forcibly sold as prostitutes in big cites.