But the level of superstition still extant, particularly in the countryside, is deeply rooted and often sexist.
The current unpleasant example is of a women forced to do the work of an animal because she touched a plow. [ "Woman harnessed 'to till field'" - BBC]
A woman in the Indian state of Chattisgarh has been forced to plough a field harnessed alongside a bull.
The move was ordered by village elders who said she had angered the rain god by breaking a taboo on women touching ploughs, thus risking a drought.