"The reasons for the high number of female feticide in India include a deep-rooted traditional son preference, continued practice of dowry and concern for safety of the girl child and exploitation and abuse of women and girl children," Krishna Tirath, India's women and child development minister, acknowledged in parliament in March 2011.
A senior legal expert says legislation alone cannot resolve anti-women biases.
"More law will only serve to give a sense of something being done, when in fact very little is being done. To confront the hatred that is now manifesting itself in the most egregious ways is to move forward as a society," Ratna Kapur, a professor at Jindal Global Law School, wrote in The Hindu newspaper Wednesday.
"We need to think about how we can handle women's equality in ways that are not perceived as threatening. That demands greater responsibility on the part of parents as well as society not to raise sons in a way in which they are indoctrinated with a sense of superiority and privilege. There is also a need on the part of young men to be actively involved in their schools and communities in advocating women's equality rights," she added in her opinion column, headlined "Rape and the crisis of Indian masculinity."