When we talk about some of the deep-rooted problems of our society, dowry system is among one of the main social issues that our country is facing. The word dowry has originated from the Anglo-Norman French word dowarie and has been present in the society for a long period of time. Dowry is defined as the money or property that a bride or bride’s family gives to the groom when they get married.
Dowry was not present in ancient India. However, there are certain reasons that resulted in the practice of taking and giving dowry over the time.
- Social Status- One of the main reasons for dowry is maintaining a social status. The prestige and financial status of a bride’s family are determined by the amount of wealth they are giving for dowry. The groom’s family’s prestige and the groom’s value in the society is also judged by the amount of dowry he gets.
- Illiteracy-Illiteracy is another major reason for dowry in our society. Just because there is lack of education among a huge percentage of women in our society, they accept the demands of the groom’s family without any further protest. Illiteracy makes them unaware of their basic rights and the laws related to their rights.
- Status of Women-Another very important reason for dowry in our society is the low status of women. In a patriarchal society like ours, men and women don’t enjoy equal rights. The inequality between the status of men and women is one of the main reasons for such social ills still existing in our society.
According to Mahatma Gandhi, “Any young man, who makes dowry a condition to marriage, discredits his education and his country and dishonours womanhood”. There are many long-term effects of dowry on the society.
- It creates gender imbalance in the society.
- It promotes domestic violence and crime.
- It affects the status of women in the society and also deteriorates the financial status of the bride’s family.
Marriage is an integral part of the society and is a source of joy. It is a new beginning. Therefore the social evils related to dowry must be solved. The various ways to overcome dowry are as follows;
- Spreading Education-Literacy is one of the main solutions to the issues related to dowry. Once the women are educated enough they will have a clear idea about their rights and the laws. This will help them fight for their own rights. An educated woman will always raise her voice against the problems related to dowry.
- Working towards Gender Equality-Another very important way by which the dowry system can be abolished is by working towards gender equality. People should be educated about the ills related to dowry and it must be made sure that they boycott dowry. Men and women must have equal rights and opportunities.
- Social Awareness Campaigns-The dowry system can also be overcome by spreading social awareness among people. The problems and issues related to dowry must be spread among people so that they realize that it is necessary to abolish dowry.
Now that we are aware of the problems related to dowry and we also know about the solutions, each one of us must take small initiatives to overcome dowry in order to make this society a better place for women.