Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures

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Infanticide and Abandonment of Female Children: Overview
(2,234 words)

Female infanticide has been practiced from earliest times to the present in a wide variety of cultures. The practice usually results from a combination of poverty, lack or scarcity of resources, patriarchal social order, preservation of family honor, and the low status of women. If inheritance goes through the male line, if sons and not daughters support their parents in old age, if daughters join their husbands' families and thereafter contribute their labor to them, if families must furnish da…

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Gallagher, Nancy, “Infanticide and Abandonment of Female Children: Overview”, in: Encyclopedia of Women & Islamic Cultures, General Editor Suad Joseph. Consulted online on 29 February 2024 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1872-5309_ewic_EWICCOM_0093>
First published online: 2009

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