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  • 2022AmitPhd

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Unheard and Unnoticed: Violence Against Women in India – A Study of Practice of Witch-Hunting, Honour Killing and Devadasi System

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

Publication date2022
Number of pages238
Awarding Institution
  • Lancaster University
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Violence against women is globally pervasive as it cuts across boundaries of caste, class, culture, race, ethnicity and age. However, public authorities in India are only beginning to recognize violence against women as a violation of basic human rights of women. This is because violence against women is still not contextualized in its local-cultural setting, as a result, several violent practices against women, especially those against marginalized women, that have been customarily conceived and which tend to justify patriarchal norms often go unnoticed and unpunished. Violent practices such as, witch-hunting, honour killing and devadasi system, which this thesis focuses on, despite being prevalent in India for a long time, neither find considerable space in the literature nor are recognized as a matter of public concern by the State, civil society and media.

This thesis, therefore, addresses the issue of lack of attention to violence against women in India by highlighting neglected violent practices such as witch-hunting, honour killing and devadasi system towards women in the backdrop of social-cultural norms and fewer or no domestic laws. In addition, this thesis also examines the above mentioned practices within the existing framework of international human rights law and critically analyzes India’s measures to eliminate violence against women.