Dowry system is a tradition that does not belong to a single country, it is in all over the world. The girl’s parents (bride family) gives the goods, cash, gifts, and real or movable property to the groom, his parents, or his relatives as a condition of the marriage, and engagement.
We are living in the 21st century but still many social evils are existing in our society. Dowry is one of them. We can’t imagine a marriage without dowry in some places in the world. It is mandatory in some countries. Dowry can be in any role. If I create a dowry checklist hundred-plus items will be in it. The main dowry items are money, car, motorcycle, gold, home furniture and appliance, electronic gadgets, clothes, and many other items.
Causes of Dowry System
There are a lot of causes of dowry system in our society but the main reasons are:
1. It is a tradition
Yes, dowry is a marital tradition that is coming for the last centuries when the bride’s parents give needful things at her daughter’s marriage so she can survive well. But it has become mandatory for everyone nowadays. Either you have money or not but you will have to give dowry on her girl marriage. The dowry tradition still continues and increasing day by day.
2. Greedy Groom families demand it
A groom’s family asks to bride parents what things will you give before or on marriage? Because their boy is doing a good job, they have good property, their boy is doing a good business, they have a nice reputation in the society or more reason for demanding it. If her parents are agreed then the bride and groom get married, otherwise no relation is made. However, all these matters are discussed before the engagement or wedding.
3. Bride family want to give it
Every parent wants their girl to go to a rich family. They find a guy who has a good job, business, or good income sources. We can say that the bride’s parents find a boy who is in their level (economically and socially) or even up. To fill this gap the bride’s family doesn’t hesitate from giving dowry.
4. To build a reputation in society
Both the bride and groom’s family think if they will give dowry on marriage it will increase their reputation and people will talk good about them. In a simple world, dowry is given for show-off as well. People compare themselves to each other. If they can give dowry then why not us? Our wrong thoughts are also boosting the dowry. People think their status will increase in society if they will receive expensive dowry.
Another cause of dowry system, lack of education (Illiteracy) in a society. The dowry problem is more in undeveloped or developing countries compared with developed countries. If a girl or woman will be well educated and working then why anybody need to give dowry? The old thinking people or illiterate persons are more interested in receiving dowry.
6. Ignorance of anti-dowry laws
Dowry Prohibition Act is ineffective or people don’t care about this law because it is not implemented effectively. Even maybe people don’t know about the dowry act which is enacted to prevent the giving or taking of a dowry. You may have to go to jail or fill a big fine for it.
Problems and Effects of Dowry System
The following are problems pertaining to marriage and family dowry which are effecting our society seriously. So look at the effects of the dowry system on a women’s life.
1. Domestic violence against women
Dowry is not a one time process. It keeps continuing after marriage as well. A few greedy families harass married women to bring more dowry or in case of failure to meet dowry demands. As a result, the in-laws family does fight with her, beat her hard, or even they kill her. Every day many women harassment cases are registered due to dowry. In some cases, married women commit to suicide due to continuous harassment, some are burned or injured badly by in-laws family. Dowry deaths are found predominantly in Pakistan, India, Iran, Bangladesh, and a few more countries in the world.
2. Financial burden
It is a big financial burden on our society. The bride’s family starts collecting goods and saving money for dowry on her marriage from the day she takes birth. In many cases, her parents have to take borrow money from relatives and friends, a loan from the bank, and even sell their property for doing just her marriage. An average middle class spent 20 lakhs (2 million) on girl marriage.
3. Waste of money
Yes, it is totally a waste of money. People don’t spend money as much money on their child’s education and career as they spend on dowry and marriage expenses. An average gathering of 300 to 1000 guests in normal Indian marriage and bride family take care of all these meals, sitting and comforts. It is also another type of dowry. We can save this money to the bank or use it for their education.
4. Encourage to gender discrimination and female foeticide
Why always bride parents have to give dowry, groom why family not? A girl’s parents get separated from her precious child forever but still, we need dowry along with her. This is not fair and encourages gender discrimination. Our society gives more preference to the boy child. Dowry culture also encourages female foeticide due to gender inequality and most families can’t afford wedding expenses.
The following are some important steps to eradicate dowry which we and our Government will need to take together.
- All Groom need to take step up and “say no to dowry”. Boys need to convince their parents that they will not take or give dowry. They should have the confidence to earn their living. They should do a simple marriage without doing extra expenses and show-off.
- Educate your daughter so she can become self-dependence and starts getting some earning which will help her financially and build confidence and self-esteem. A well-educated girl is also able to make her own decision and fight against any violence.
- The government needs to implement the dowry law strictly. However the dowry prohibition act is already a presence in every county, but people don’t follow because it is not enforced strictly. Giving and taking dowry is illegal in some countries and he shall be punishable. The government needs to amend the law and describe marriage expenses level, identify the culprit and punish them hard, and solve out dowry cases very quickly so that culprit can go to jail.
- Say ‘No’ to those greedy grooms. Yes, stay away and don’t make any relation with those greedy people who ask you for giving dowry. Make everything clean before marriage to avoid further issues. If still, they pressurize you for giving dowry, you can take strong action against them.
- Social awareness activities. The social awareness campaigns can also help to educate the people and get rid of this dowry tradition. It is the result of awareness, people have started doing simple marriages without taking/giving dowry.
In the end, the dowry is a social stigma that can be removed with all our contributions and awareness. It is in our blood so it will take more time to clean. Don’t make any daughter’s father poor or borrower. Our desires are never going to fulfill with other money and things. Make up mind – I will not take and give any kinds of dowry.
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