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Child marriage remains common in rural areas, although it is illegal under current Indian law.

Sati is an old, almost completely defunct custom among some communities, in which the widow was immolated alive on her husband's funeral pyre.

The ritual was well-established by the 10th century CE.

Devadasi is often misunderstood as religious practice. Women were "married" to a deity or temple, disallowing them from ever marrying a mortal.

After this, the women were sold into sex work, 'devoting themselves to a life of service to the goddess'.

Several Dharmashastras mention the restricted role of women, such as the Manu Smriti: Her father guards her in her childhood; her husband guards her in her youth; and her sons guard her in her old age. when child marriages and a ban on remarriage by widows became part of social life in some communities in India.

The Muslim conquest in the Indian subcontinent brought purdah to Indian society.

Raja Rammohan Roy's efforts led to the abolition of Sati under Governor-General William Cavendish-Bentinck in 1829.

Ishwar Chandra Vidyasagar's crusade for improvement in the situation of widows led to the Widow Remarriage Act of 1856.

Our Word of the Year choice serves as a symbol of each year’s most meaningful events and lookup trends.

It is an opportunity for us to reflect on the language and ideas that represented each year.

Missionaries' wives such as Martha Mault née Mead and her daughter Eliza Caldwell née Mault are rightly remembered for pioneering the education and training of girls in south India.

This practice was initially met with local resistance, as it flew in the face of tradition.

Among the Rajputs of Rajasthan, the Jauhar was practised.

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