Dowry, The Unsettling Practice of Price Tag
Updated: Oct 7, 2021
Are women facing abuse and death over dowries?
Dowry means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given by the bride to the groom, at, before, or after the marriage. (“dowry: a pervasive tale of depravity — law times journal”)
In the 21st century, one in four women suffers from domestic violence because of dowry. Because of the dowry system, we consider daughters to be a financial burden on the family, which leads to female foeticide.
Dowry is a substantial issue for women in third-world countries like India, Kenya, and South Asian countries.
“In India, dowry was banned in 1961 under the dowry prohibition act.” (“what was the purpose of a dowry?”) Even today, people all over India follow this practice of giving dowry.
The deaths because of dowry are common in new life with many expectations and hopes. These the dowry system restrains hopes and expectations. Because of our social constraints, many refuse to come out of a toxic married life.
In some regions, the practice of dowry is also called “prikija” and “miraz”, which means inheritance, which is something different from dowry. Here, the bride’s family offers land and gold. They offer furniture and household things as dowry in various regions of northern India.
We’re said to be the 4th generation; our country is developing. Yet, why is there such a childish treat? Is it because there are no strong laws to wipe out dowry?
The answer is no. Stronger laws still need to be enacted. It is up to each of us to put it into action.
Is Dowry Illegal in India?
Dowry is illegal in India under the anti-dowry law.
Under the dowry prohibition Act, any act of demanding dowry or giving dowry is punishable in India. The punishment for violating the anti-dowry law is imprisonment for up to 5 years and a fine of Rs 15,000/- or the value of dowry given, whichever is more.
Now, the Kerala government has taken a stand against dowry. Every Government Employee must affirm that ‘not taken or given dowry’.
Do not make marriage a bargain. The Biggest freedom we can give to our daughters is education. Every parent needs to encourage their daughters mentally and physically
Books you might like!
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Broken Mirrors: The 'Dowry Problem' in India by Robin Wyatt
The Bitter Half by Simon
Living Dowry by Author Abraham Verghese