The persistence in India of cultural practices that discriminate against girls and women means not only the abuse of but, finally, the deaths of countless women. A major impediment to the human rights of women in India is the fact that laws relating to marriage, divorce, adoption, and inheritance are based primarily on religious law and tradition, with different laws for Hindus, Muslims, and Parsis. The longstanding demands of the women's movement for a general civil law against domestic violence have gone unmet. Sexual abuse of girls and women in families is common, but rarely reported. One of the most dramatic forms of violence against women in India is what has come to be known as "dowry deaths". As long as cultural assumptions about the inferiority of women continue to exist, equality for women and freedom from discrimination based on sex will remain distant dreams.