Why it is necessary to give dowry? We all know that the man performs the duty to look after the financial matters and earn the bread and butter for the family, isn’t it? Does it assure that in-laws would be generous enough to be sharing their power? Can dowry really save you from the problems or does it create problems itself? Will the society help you in preparing the dowry or help your daughters in times of crisis? So, dowry is a matter of understanding for all the people.
What is Dowry?
Dowry defines an act of discrimination of unmarried girls, whose respective dowries define the marital life and probably, their values. Along with the other social tribulations, dowry plays one of the most significant and prevailing marriage problems of Pakistan. With majority of the population living below the poverty line and the destitute of basic living requirements, it adds onto their misery.
In Islam, no need to give dowry necessary. A dowry does not only include cash payments. It probably, includes sometimes 5 – 7 dresses for the wife, clothes for the in-laws, grocery, or clothes that the husband and wife can use for a year. Dowry can contain gifts or essential needs for the daughter. On the contrary, however, parents-in-law expect dowry in many forms such as bungalow, car, motorbike, or money.
Here, let us have a look at how dowry affect the morale of women and family in the society:
1. Dowry causes great economic burden on bride’s family
Dowry has generally, become a great economic burden to the middle- and lower-class families. These people live hand to mouth. They rarely save money. They spend their resources to meet their necessary needs.
Hence, they have to borrow money or sell a piece of their property or mortgage valuable articles of the family to give dowry in daughter’s marriage. Hence, it becomes ultimately a great economic burden for parents to repay the borrowed amounts after marriage.
2. Increases corrupt attitude of parents
Many parents develop their corrupt attitude to collect money for paying dowry. They accept all sorts of bribes. They undertake unsocial activities like smuggling or earn by unfair means. Thus , dowry practices forces some parents to be corrupt.
3. Lowers the standard of living
Each marriage of daughter leads the drainage of money from brides’ side due to dowry practice. It probably, breaks the backbone of the family by lowering the standard of living.
Also Read: Child Marriage in Pakistan
4. Dowry leads to some immoral practices
In order to escape from the menace of dowry, some young girls prefer to undertake jobs to earn huge amount of money to meet the dowry expenses. This is how, they probably reduce the dowry tension of their parents. In the process, some young boys make false promises, carry away innocent girls and sexually cheat them to make pregnant. Subsequently, such girls are socially defamed. Finally, these girls force themselves to commit suicide finding no alternatives.
At times, if the dowry is not up to their in-law’s satisfaction, even the husband along with his parents or other family members do not hesitate to take away the life of bride. This accounts for an explosive situation such as bride burning and many other atrocities activity against women in our society.
Women face ill-treatment, disrespect, manhandling, torture and subject to all sorts of cruelties in the name of dowry. Newly married girls are always the victims of harassment, violence, murder, and suicide. The bridegroom demands dowry as a fundamental right. Violence against women who bring less dowry or no dowry includes-physical battering, emotional neglect, torture, verbal abuse, refusal of sufficient food, imposition of heavy physical work and so on.
5. Dowry practice lowers the status of women
Some parents are unwilling to give higher education to their daughter as they have to search for highly educated boy for marriages and better educated boy will demand more dowries which creates unnecessary problem, for parents. Dowry creates a hindrance in the progress of education of girls and girls being deprived of higher education are unable to raise their status.
Besides, the boy who receives huge amount of dowry may think of himself as more dignified as having a higher status greater prestige and more respectful than the girl. Subsequently the girl develops inferiority complex. Dowry system lowers the status of women in another way. Some greedy boys want to marry several women to get monetary’ benefit in the form of dowry. This naturally affects the status of the women.
6. Dowry practice enhances psychological tension
Many marriages breakdown are probably due to dowry practice and increases the tension of both parents and daughters. Besides, parents always remain worried and tensed in arranging money required to pay in dowry for daughter’s marriage.
In some cases, girls with self-dignity may refuse to marry a boy who demands dowry and may be forced to remain spinsters throughout their lives. They become irritable, frustrated disgusted and pessimistic. They may even develop neurotic diseases and get involved in an emotional problem.
In many cases, girls are ill-treated even after the payment of dowry. So, they spoil their mental peace and cause continuous irritation though they resist this treatment.
Most of the times, just for the sake of dowry parents fix up their son’s marriage without taking his consent which finally leads misunderstanding and unhappiness between married couple.
A Daughter-in-Law without Dowry
When a wife does not bring dowry, once in a while the parents in law will not acknowledge her into the family. She will definitely be known like a hireling, expected to do all house tasks and explicitly fulfill her better half to pick up her decent spot inside the family. “Those young ladies who don’t bring dowry are being stifled and are approached to accomplish more work.” They will be here and there have been limited or no rights to settle on their own choices and be relied upon just to do family unit errands.
Dowry is an immorality in the society. It leads toward promoting many conflicts, quarrels, and greed in the civilization. The foremost reason for exercising dowry is greed. Therefore, to control this system, youth and government both should take steps. Awareness of dowry issues must be raised and steps must be taken to speed up this process of change.
Also Read: Domestic Violence And Anti-Islamic Movements