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Dowry System: A Case Study of Pakistan

By Nadir Ali

According to Merriam-Webster dictionary, “dowry is the money or property that a wife or wife’s family gives to her husband when the wife and husband marry in some cultures”. Dowry is the term used to describe the custom of the groom’s side of the wedding forcing the bride’s side to give up money or other valuable items. Since prehistoric times, this unnecessary ritual has been practised, and it has now turned into a burden for those who lack the financial means to satisfy the demands of the bride’s family. Although the majority of the community is generally aware of this awful crime and its ramifications, even those who are well-educated and wealthy find it difficult to resist participating in it.

Since many years ago, several organizations – both government and non-government – have relentlessly exerted all of their efforts to eradicate this evil act from our nation. As a consequence, the percentage of this crime in our nation is declining, but they have not yet been able to eradicate it from the root. The main purpose of this rite was to provide the newly-weds with all the necessities they would need to begin their new life together.

Marriage, which is the oldest custom of creating a new relationship between two families, has been turned into a type of business by certain individuals who entirely favour the groom’s family since they are given several expensive gifts from the bride’s family. Likewise, the phrase “richer the family, higher the dowry demand” refers to the fact that individuals from financially secure families expect more money in accordance with their position or their son’s qualifications in our society. However, when the bride is not physically attractive, the bride’s parents are required to pay extra in dowry on the bride’s side of the marriage.

Similarly, the practice of dowry should be outlawed since it is morally repugnant. It encourages numerous conflicts, fights, and greed across society. Pakistanis are fully aware of the dowry system and the harmful abuses it may cause. The dowry system is used in Pakistani society by both love and forced marriages, educated and illiterate individuals alike. People, however, are not in favour of this heinous ritual.

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In addition, the burden of dowry damages girls’ mental health and makes parents feel inferior. Comparing the middle class to the lower and upper classes, middle and lower class that is most affected by the dowry system. Additionally, both the government and the youth should act to manage this system.

The social benefits of dowry are non-existent. Social immorality is used as evidence. It causes many conflicts, quarrels, and ravenousness in the development. The dowry system is being used in Pakistan’s general population by both educated and unskilled individuals who fall in love or in arrange marriages. It is a disease with no cure and a burden on the bride’s family which leads them towards anxiety, depression and constant threat.

Therefore, dowry ranks first and foremost as a social difficulty for women in contemporary culture. Because, while other social issues such as rape, child marriage, murder, and kidnapping exist, they do not have the same impact as the dowry system. Dowry is distinct from the related term’s bride price and dower.

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The marriage loses all sanctity and sublimity when a girl is accepted not based on her qualities, but rather for the money she provides. This can be attributable to an acceptance of certain dominant attitudes that see women as inferior and responsible exclusively for their problems. It hardly ever recognizes them as victims of a specific type of oppression or sex prejudices that are widespread throughout society.

Lastly, even angels would be afraid to enter this chamber of terror because of the weight of tradition, the pervasive concept of male dominance, the antiquated legal system, and the society’s tolerance of violence.

Hafiz Nadir Ali is associated with the Institute of Strategic Studies, Islamabad (ISSI). He has written for Pakistan Today, Pakistan Observer, and numerous other publishers. He tweets at @hafiznadirali7 and can be reached at hafiznadirali7@gmail.com.

 

Disclaimer:

The views and opinions expressed in this article/Opinion/Comment are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk (DND). Assumptions made within the analysis are not reflective of the position of the DND Thought Center and Dispatch News Desk News Agency.

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