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Reported dowry death cases in India 2005-2018

In 2016, reported dowry death cases in India amounted to more than 7.1 thousand. This was a gradual decrease from the 2014, in which this number was approximately 8.5 thousand. The dowry system in India incorporates payments in the form of capital, durable goods, real estate among others, made to the bridegroom from the family of the bride as a condition for marriage.

The Hindu Succession Act

Until its amendment in 2005, the Hindu Succession Act of 1956 was biased towards the male next of kin when it came to property inheritance. The amendment stated that women had right to their parents’ property irrespective of being married. However, in practice, the inheritance of the women is socially imparted to her as dowry in marriage leading to financial dependence on the husband or the in-laws. This economic handicap has hindered progress towards equality among men and women the most. To prevent the economic abuse of women, The Dowry Prohibition Act of 1961 was passed by the government which prohibits the giving or taking of dowry in India.

How well are policies for women implemented?

Domestic violence against women, assault, religious and cultural traditions are the predominant perpetrators of endangering women’s safety around the world. In 2018, India was the world’s most dangerous country for women. The general consensus regarding women’s safety suggested that the citizens of the country perceived the efforts to increase women’s safety as ineffective. Although public opinion about the central government’s policy is changing, the capital territory of the country was one of the most unsafe regions for women in India, thus questioning the effectiveness of the government regulations for women’s safety.

Total number of reported dowry death* cases in India from 2005 to 2018

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Release date

January 2020



Survey time period

2005 to 2018

Supplementary notes

* Dowry deaths refers to the bride’s suicide or murder committed by her husband or his family soon after the marriage due to the their discontent with the amount of the dowry paid.

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Statistics on "Women in India "

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