Dowry and related social problems
Dowry system is one of the contributing factors toward social problems that effects women and girls in India and other nearby countries where dowry is still prevalent.
This is based on my research from and around people that I know who are from India.
Dowry system is one of the contributing factors toward social problems that effects women and girls in India and other nearby countries where dowry is still prevalent. If you are not familiar with the concept of dowry, it is basically a gift of some kind (money, property, gold, etc) given to bridegroom or his family during marriage. It is also a system that is deeply rooted into the culture. But legally speaking, dowry is illegal in India. But unfortunately, it is still a common practice in most places in India. Families who are wealthy enough, it is not a problem. But however, families with low income or under the poverty line, dowry is a huge problem.
Dowry can put great financial burden on low income families. Often times, instead of being a gift, it more of a demand from bridegroom’s family. So the bride’s family needs to come up with the financial backing to meet the demand from the bridegroom’s side. I have heard stories of parents selling their home or taking out massive loans against their homes to marry off their daughter. You can also imagine other problems that can arise from a system like this. Just to name a few, sex-selective abortions, negligence toward daughters, abuse, etc. These are all problems that directly or indirectly effect safety of women and girls.
One of the person that I recently spoke to mentioned about a horrific story of her neighbor back in India. For some unknown reasons, the promised dowry was not given to her in-laws and as a result she was often beaten, starved, made her work like a slave and finally send her back to her parent’s home until the dowry was fully paid. And she said there are many many more stories like this.