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Essay: Dowry

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According to Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961’dowry’ means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly’by one party of a marriage to the other party of the marriage; or by the parent or any other person of the marriage to either party or to any other person.
‘A dowry is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings as a gift to her husband in marriage. It contrasts with bride price, which is paid to the bride’s parents, and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The same culture may simultaneously practice both dowry and bride price.’ -Wikipedia.
Dowry (dahej) is one of the most ancient practices of South Asia. It’s a social evil that is prevalent in almost all parts in the eastern sphere of the globe and in all communities. Mainly in countries like Pakistan and India many of the traditional customs have been given up, but the custom of dowry is still strongly adopted.
It is the payment in cash or some kind of gifts given to a bridegroom’s family along with the bride. Generally, they include cash, jeweler, electrical appliances, furniture, bedding, crockery, utensils and other household items that help the newlywed set up her home. The dowry system is thought to put great financial burden on the bride’s family. In early times, the use of a dowry was prevalent in wealthy families but many ordinary families also adopted this system in their culture. The reason for this adoption was greed. Most people demand a dowry from the bride’s father. Sometimes they will also make a list of items that are needed.
It is an ancient custom, and continues to be expected, and demanded as a condition to accept a marriage proposal, in some parts of the world, mainly in parts of Asia, North Africa
Dowry system is in contradiction to the law of equality among man and woman. In legal terms dowry is well-thought-out as a crime, both giving and taking but that’s not the case in our society for which out of the thousands of cases that are observed every year only few of them are reported and from that only a handful are brought before court.
Even in the old age the dowry system was in trend and dowry was used as means for striking a good match. In due time dowry has become an integral part of the sacred institute of marriage and is generally accepted by the society as necessary rather than an evil custom because of which dowry has become widespread.
Due to the fact that dowry is as important to a marriage as there being a bride and groom the amount to be given as dowry is discussed and settled.
Specfically in the Sanskrit the word dowry is called as Stridhan where stri means women and dhan stands for wealth.
Basically the real definition has remained unclear but main scholars and writers have tried to explain the stigma in their own thoughts and opinions.
As debated by Menski (1998), there are definitely several perceptions of dowry which link with each other.
Some writers have also defined dowry as the wealth given to a daughter at her marriage for funding to the practical life of the newly married couple. They are a kind of parting gifts given from parents to the daughter to take with her into her husband’s home.
More technically, the property belongs to the wife and ought to stay within her control, though the husband generally has rights of managing. Conforming to the spirit of the dowry tradition, dowry given to a wife need to form part of the conjugal domain, to be enjoyed by husband and wife and to be passed on in time to their kids (Tambiah, 1973).
Another definition to dowry is the property a woman brings to the nuptial partnership. By the idea, dowry is what a bride receives from her parents, property she previously inherited and takes along to the marriage, or property she owns as a widow and brings when she re-weds (Nazzari, 1991; Birge, 2002).
Dowry has also been referred to as a gift or transfer by a bride’s family to the groom or his family at the time of marriage.
Deriving its way from the idea of dowry a new concept of groom price, a direct transfer to the groom, has shined through in numerous historical occurrences (Anderson, 2007). This new idea has been referred to as “new dowry” (Menski, 1998) and Anderson (2003) as “real dowry payments”.
Studies have shown that the crux of the dowry problem appears to lie with this particular concept of dowry (Menski, 1998; Dalmia and Lawrence, 2005, etc.).
Dowry is an ancient custom, and its presence may well precede its records. Historically, dowry was a way of providing a woman with a share of her family’s wealth, which she would not else be entitled to over inheritance. It was believed to be the best technique to protect a woman from suffering abuse or ill treatment by her spouse and his family. The use of a dowry was combined with a bride price, or rather an amount of money or property the groom would pay to the bride’s family in order to marry their spawn.
The Asian dowry system has always existed since the British Era but not in the format that is prevalent in the society today in the precolonial period the system was more women centric that is in the pre-colonial period, dowry was a tradition managed by women, for women, to allow them to establish their status and have alternative in an emergency. In this ancient system of dowry, the parents of the bride gave wealth to her in the form of valued gifts. This gave the required financial freedom to women who would even manage the revenue from their agricultural land.
Looking through a more historic overview about ancient marriage rites in the Vedic period are associated with Kanyadan which wasn’t completed till the bridegroom was given a dakshina. So when a bride is given over to the bridegroom, he has to be given something in cash or kind which constitute vara dakshina .The vara dakshina was offered out of affection and did not constitute any kind of compulsion or consideration for the marriage. It was a voluntary practice without any forcible overtones. But through time the voluntary component in dowry has died out and the coercive element has crept in. it has taken deep roots not only in the marriage ceremony but also post-marital relationship. What was originally anticipated to be a taken dakshina or a gift for the bride groom has now gone out of proportions and has assumed the classification dowry. The social activists of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries have struggled hard for the elimination of various social evils including the maliciousdowry system
The act which gave birth to dowry and suppressed the status of women was The move when a rule was imposed by the British which banned the women from owning any property whatsoever. This meant that all the wealth a woman received from her parents would now be owned by her husband instead. And through this very legislation the system of man owning the wealth of his spouse was created that transformed the traditional dowry system into a hazard creating an institution of greed that oppressed, abused and intimidated women. This greed created a system where the groom’s family started looking at the future bride as a source of property and wealth, the male ruled society became greedy, husband and in-laws started demanding more dowry from the bride and her parents.
The social coherence and the attachment created by marriage had vanished and it became just another business deal, where making wealth was easier also the male child became a bonus source of income whereas female child was demeaned to as a financial burden to the family and this generated the present social terror of female infanticides.
The menace of dowry is not restricted to Pakistan alone. Several countries are inflicted with this. For example in India, a bride is burnt for dowry every 58 minutes (national crime records bureau); however, the sad fact is that no proper statistics is available for dowry-related violence in Pakistan. Incidents such as acid throwing, wife-beating and divorces are often the outcomes of the brides’ inability to fulfil the expectations of greedy in-laws and husband. The educated don’t directly ask for dowry but the groom’s family evaluates how much the girl would bring based on her father’s income and siblings’ position in the society.
Some people also believe that giving and receiving a dowry will also increase their status in society. A Dowry is commonly given in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sirilanka and Nepal. It means that it is mostly practiced in south Asian countries, excepting Bhutan. If brides’ parents don’t have enough money to give a dowry then this will badly affect the girl after the marriage. Mostly, husbands beat their wives if they do not bring a dowry from her parents’ home.
In India, it is believed that a person who does not accept a dowry may have some personal faults
Long before India gained independence, then the provincial Government of Sind passed an enactment known as “Sind Deti Leti Act, 1939” with a view to deal effectively with the evils of dowry system but the enactment had neither any impact nor could create the desired effect. During the last few decades the evils of dowry system has taken an acute form in almost all parts of the country and in almost all the sections of society. In a bid to eradicate this evil from the society, the State Governments of Bihar and Andhra Pradesh enacted “The Bihar Dowry Restraint Act, 1950” and “The Andhra Pradesh Dowry Prohibition Act, 1958” for the respective States, but both these enactments failed to achieve the objectives for which they were enacted.
A study conducted in 2002 by the Society for Advancement of Community and Health, Education and Training (SACHET) titled Fight against Dowry (FAD) revealed that parents approved of hefty dowries as it provided them with the opportunity to showcase opulence and ‘love’ for their daughters. Besides it also found that dowry deaths were a norm. Newly married girls often suffered from stove deaths, accidental deaths, or death due to unknown circumstances.
The battle to end dowry fleeting in Pakistan and different nations has not been limited to these countries’ borders. Reports of these episodes have pulled in a lot of open intrigue and have started a worldwide lobbyist development trying to end the practice. Of this dissident group, the United Nations (UN) has assumed a crucial part in closure dowty, as well as viciousness against ladies overall.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), however predominately centered around enhancing the nature of instruction accessible to youngsters comprehensively, has likewise taken a proactive position against share passing. On March 9 (International Women’s Day), at a question and answer session in Washington D.C., UNICEF’s Executive Director, Ann M. Veneman, openly censured endowment passings and the authoritative frameworks which permit the guilty parties to go unpunished. In 2009 UNICEF dispatched its first Strategic Priority Action Plan for Gender Equality, which was trailed by a second Action Plan in 2010. The point of these arrangements has been to make sex equity a higher need inside all global UNICEF projects and capacities.
However the practice has decreased of use in most parts of the world by the 19th century in the post colonial periods but dowries are still much strongly prevalent today in most South Asian countries like Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and India. Most of these countries didn’t have a dowry tradition until they came under European influence and colonization In medieval and Renaissance Europe, the dowry frequently served not only to enhance the desirability of a woman for marriage but also to build the power and wealth of great families and even to determine the frontiers and policies of state .An example here of the system existing amongst the Europeans is when Mumbai was presented as part of wedding gift when Princess Catherine de Braganza of Portugal was married to King Charles II in 1661.
In Pakistan dowry is regarded to as Jahez!
Pakistan is suffering from many social evils and superstitions. Dowry System is one of them. Parents ask for the amount they have spent in educating and upbringing their son. It is also measured as a status symbol, especially in the high class, and generally the items of dowry are exhibited and hyped by both parties. To fulfill the demands of the girl’s in laws they borrow money or even sometimes they put their property on mortgage. It has become truly difficult to find the suitable match for the girl without giving the demanded dowry.The demand of dowry is according to the qualification of the boy. Even today when there are broad minded people still the system of dowry has not being abolished..Even the rich parents of the boy do not feel ashmed in begging dowry. The system of dowry Pakistan is a very serious matter and a black spot on the Pakistani culture.
Its quite surprsinig that people in Pakistan Most people complicate the concept of a dowry and a Mehr. A Mehr is the amount given by the groom to her bride. This practice is obligatory in Islam, and was created simply to defend the rights of women. It is a large amount, usually fixed by the consultation of the bride, the groom and their family members.
in the past few years the value of dowries has increased greatly.
Many people in Pakistan are uneducated and lack basic awreness. This lack of literacy facilitates the continuance of giving a dowry because people with no awareness and education have very low morals and quickly become greedy when they think about what a dowry can offer them.
But much on the counterpart the dowry system has nothing to do in islam which is the fundamental basis of our country and therefore it conflicts to our culture at every stage
Marriage ‘ the commencing of a new and beautiful relationship ‘ in our country is an occasion for ridiculous displays of spending on outrageously extravagant valimas, mehndi feasts, jewellery, giveaways, dowry and similar acts. What is stimulating and downright dreadful is that all classes of society are guilty of this madness.
Our upper-class uses the occasion to show how wealthy they are. The middle-class, as always torn between the ranks of society, tries its best to spend as much as it can and record itself within the upper-class so as to feel accomplished. The poor take out the money from their children’s schooling, health and everyday essentials of life to cover ridiculous wedding expenses.
The reasons behind our illogical expenditure on marriages are obvious.
The long recognized traditions of wedding functions and obligations of giving jewelry, dowry has created a customary on which each family attempts to outshine more than it actually can. People fear being ridiculed by society if they fail to devote ‘enough’. More often than not, this forces them to use more than the wealth they have.
Pakistani girls have to own many qualities to get married – beauty, fair complexion, skinny figure, good upbringing, education and culinary skills. But the trait that has become the most worrisome for women is dowry. In Pakistan, the existence of dowry becomes the generating power of other just as heinous crimes such as acid-burning, sexual violence and child marriage.
Dowry is an ancient practice that survives and thrives in our society for various reasons. It is used as an excuse for denial of inheritance to women. It is considered a good support mechanism to help the new couple so that they get a convenient start in practical life. It has also become a socially enforced practice that is followed and executed ‘with a smile’; Not withstanding how painful it could be to the family. But the primary reason being the fear of insolence from the in-laws. There is no guarantee that your daughter will have a great marriage if she is given a heavy dowry.
Unfortunately no one ever comes forward to end this wicked social act which leads to numerous ‘deaths’ in the area annually In Pakistan, in spite of very high rate of domestic violence and regular cases of stove deaths, dowry related violence is neither observed nor recognized as an acknowledged form of violence nor documented in social science and literature.
Many cases of bride burning due to dowry issues have been reported in Pakistan. In some cases, accidents are engineered (such as the tampering of a kitchen stove to cause victim’s death) or the victims are set ablaze, claimed to be yet another accident or suicide. According to a 1999 report, of the sixty “bride-burning” cases that made it to the prosecution stage (though 1,600 cases were actually reported), only two resulted in convictions. During 1997, the Lahore press reported an average of more than four local cases of women being burnt weekly, three of the four fatally. Police follow-up on these cases was negligible, with only six suspects taken into custody out of 215 cases reported in Lahore newspapers during the year. In 1997, there was not a single conviction in a ‘stove-death’ case in the country. It remains a mystery for social science researchers as to why stoves burst in susrals (marital homes) only and why the victim is always a bahu (daughter in law).
There have been people who have spoken up against this social menace. In September 2011, a movement was launched to end the practice of dowry. Titled ‘Tehreek Sadah Zindagi’, the movement was initiated by Javed Jala, who paid Rs1.5 million at his daughter’s wedding. Javed Jala and his daughter’s houses were swept away in flash floods in 2010. He was left with no money to reconstruct his house or take care of his basic needs because he had spent all his money on his daughter’s marriage.
Punjab’s Governor Sardar Latif Khosa also highlighted the problem of dowry and about the sufferings parents have to stand to get their daughters married, while attending a mass wedding ceremonial of 24 couples. The event had been organized by ‘Tehreek Minhaj ul Quran’ and gifts including double beds, TV, DVD, washing machine and jewellry were given to couples.
In 2010, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) assembly unanimously passed a resolution demanding a ban on dowry. Interestingly, the members seemed unaware of the fact that a law constraining dowry is already in reality. The problem is quite severe according to the Peshawar High Court Chief Justice’s statement earlier this year in which he said people were mortgaging their houses to assemble for the dowry of their daughters.
Pakistan passed Dowry and Marriage Gifts (Restriction) Bill in 2008, unanimously. The bill restricts dowry to PKR 30,000 (~US$ 300) while the total value of bridal gifts should not exceed PKR 50,000. The law made dowry demands by groom’s family illegal, as well as public display of dowry before or during the wedding as illega
Various military and democratically elected civil governments in Pakistan have tried to outlaw traditional display of dowry and expensive parties (walima). One such attempt was the Act of 1997, Ordinance (XV) of 1998 and the Ordinance (III) of 1999. These were challenged in the Supreme Court of Pakistan. The petitioner cited a number of hadiths under religious Sharia laws to demonstrate that Islam encouraged walima and related customary practices. Pakistan
The Government of Mr. Nawaz Sharif in mid-1990s had introduced an ordinance banning grand wedding receptions (an implicit upshot of dowry). However, it was enforced for short time only, but is now losing its spirit. Right now, commission of Law and Justice, has drafted a new law in connection with wedding expenses and dowry. The consultation on the draft version is in progress.
Many organisations like Bilquis Edhi, Sarim Burney Trust, Saylani Welfare and many other lesser known ones make available shelter to many orphan girls. As the girls mature, these institutions also try to find suitable matches for them and then get them married
Still, large sections of civil society are protesting against this malice. SACHET’s project Fight Against Dowry (FAD) is one such example. It launched a Silver Ribbon movement in 2004, which was a five-year long programme. Apart from this, the media has also emphasized dowry as a social evil.
1. Poverty is the main causes behind dowry. People often take dowry to reduce their Poverty.
2. Illiteracy,
3. Narrow mentality
4. Negative attitude
7. Women are less independent then men.
bridegroom wants money to do business or want to make his life settle with that money.
9. Status Symbol.
10 brides are not beautiful
11. Dependence on husband and living on their income
12)Sense of Prestige
Reasons for Dowry Increase
Those who make a case for a stringent anti-dowry law on the ground that dowryamounts are rising exponentially forget that among many families in the dowrypracticing groups, standards of living have also risen dramatically. Up to mygrandmothers time, dowry consisted of clothes for the bride, gold or silver jewelry,several sets of bedding, cows, buffaloes and bedsteads, cots or peedhas andperhaps a wooden closet. Some communities also gifted a portion of land – atradition still common in regions like Andhra. By the time of my motherswedding, sofa sets and dressing tables had become mandatory and dinner sets andtea sets were included along with kitchen utensils. Watches, wall clocks and radiosets also became common because by then all these items had become customaryparts of middle class life. Today, refrigerators, air conditioners, automobiles and awhole range of gadgetry are an integral part of upper class and upper middle classdowries because these families use many of these conveniences in their daily lives.However, there is no escaping the fact that ugly tussles are becomingcommonplace over dowry payments. An important reason for growing cashdemands and expensive gifts for the grooms family is that parents see this as theirmain, if not the only chance, to be compensated for the big bonanza they areoffering the bride in the form of an earning son. They feel they should berecompensed for their investment in his education and upbringing since aftermarriage his wife may influence him not to support his own parents. As long asjoint families were the norm and most parents could count on their sons to supportthem in old age and treat their income as belonging to a common pool, dowrydemands were not as much of an issue. However, with increasing breakdown ofjoint families and reluctance of many women to stay with in-laws, the insecurity ofparents in many families takes the form of trying to extract what they can from thebrides family at the time of their sons marriage.
The onsequences or demerits of dowry system on the women include many vicious and brutal incidient thes include
1) female infanticide :
The dowry system is also partly responsible for the female infanticide that occurs all over rural areas of the Asian countries due to the lack of legal enforcement that has intensified dowry-related abuse and murder, the phenomenon of female infanticide is dominant among rural communities where the additional cost of dowry for a third or fourth daughter may significantly surpass the family’s financial capacity. The data seen is staggering. Government employed midwives revealed in interviews that they ‘feared for a newborn’s life if it was so ill-fated as to be the later girl child born into a poor family of farmers’such a family could not possibly pay for the price of another girl’s dowry thus ‘putting her to sleep”seemed their only choice (Bumiller 102).’
2) Marriage troubles for Girls: Some girls are forced to marry late because their family is not that financially strong to provide the groom with the high mounting dowry and fulfil their demands for a lavish and grandeur wedding ceremony. Some girls who are highly educated and even beautiful are forced to marry men who are not upto their worth in both appearneces and education all due to the fact that the suitable matches are bound to expect and ask for a high dowry that is both impossible for the girls family and is absurd hence the girl marries someone less deserving of her.
3) Treatments and Humiliation
several forms of harassment and humiliation take place against the victim. The humiliation generally will start with criticism, followed by familiar scenes-insults, abuses and demands for more money. Some women used to put up with oppression because they know that their parents are not in a situation to give more and to some other will think that things will change after the birth of a child. The means used in ill-treating daughters-in-law are:
(1)Abuses, insults, passing sarcastic remarks
(2) Assaults
(3) Denial of food or starvation
(4) Refusing visits to the parents’ home,
(5) Not permitting them to talk with visitors from the parents’ home
4) Child Marriages. Dowry also raises the child marriages rate For an educated girl, the more educated and qualified husband is needed. This demands greater dowry. Thus the parents prefer early marriages than to do so at a later age with higher demand of dowry.
5) Issues in married life: From the very first day of her married life if the bride has not brought with her enough of the demanded dowry she would be targeted to various forms of insults by her inlaws naturally her husband bound to support his parents and family would also start mistreating his wife and in extreme cases this will lead to many sick and brutal acts of terror like cigerrate burning, physical torture and even in the worst form it can result into domestic rape also typical consequence of unmet dowry is sending the young lady or lady back to her guardian’s house. At the point when this happens everybody considers that it must be the flaw of the young lady or lady saying such things as: She couldn’t adjust to her husband or she can’t care for her spouse properly??. In this way, by and by both the young lady and her guardians experience the ill effects of bits of gossip and feedback.
6) increase in mental diseases: due to the constant and never ending that the women face in their inlaws home and the persistant domination followed by her own decision to keep mum about everything that’s happening to her to prevent her parents from finding out leads to many mental illnesses such as depression alzeihmers and insomnia. These cases are also prevailing in those unmarried girls who are getting older getting rejected by every family because her parents are poor.
7) Suicide:
Dowry system is a great malicious evil that forces many girls into suicide, to save their parents from economic grind. When the engagement is broken due to dowry the girl begins to live in the society with a sense of uncertainty, develops an inferiority complex, and remains emotionally crushed. She feels herself to be a burden on her parents and sometimes in that despair and mental exhaustion is prone to commit suicide.
Dowry deaths are deaths of young women who are murdered or driven to suicide by continuous harassment and torture by husbands and in-laws in an effort to extort an increased dowry.
Dowry deaths are found in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Iran. India reports the highest total number of dowry deaths with 8,391 such deaths reported in 2010, 1.4 deaths per 100,000 women. Adjusted for population, Pakistan, with 2,000 reported such deaths per year, has the highest rate of dowry death at 2.45 per 100,000 women.
Dowry death is considered one of the many categories of violence against women , alongside rape bride burning, eve teasing, and acid throwing.
Because of poor legal framework against dowry prompts a man to eliminate his current wife if the expected gains from doing so exceed the gains from continuing to be with her. He is more likely to murder his current wife, especially if there is a low probability of conviction. Similarly, wife abuse may be used as a means of inducing a woman to leave a marriage, thereby allowing the husband to contract abscond marriage and appropriate a second dowry without the legal risk .Incidents of violence and murders of wives due to issues of dowry first began to be reported in the early 1980’s. Stories emerged of women who were burned to death, beaten and murdered who committed suicide because of families-in-law who relentless harassed brides on issues related to insufficient dowry. These dreadful episodes of violence and murder can be seen as the combined result of an incompetently enforced legal system along with an age-old tradition that inherently weakens the relative economic liberty of women.
Effects of Dowry on Society
In the general public of Pakistan, there are distinctive traditions and doings in the elements of wedding done by the groups of spouse and man of the hour, at the same time, one thing which is basic in the majority of the weddings is the pattern of Dowry. Endowment is an awful and deceptive practice. It is not a practice for which there is religious assent , however it keeps on being polished in numerous nations of the world today. On the off chance that we say this is basic among the ignorant or uneducated individuals; we will not be right in light of the fact that even the informed individuals claim this framework with pride. Indeed, even in the huge urban areas like Lahore and Karachi, we can undoubtedly discover numerous illustrations of this framework and the issues after marriage for not giving settlement. The settlement framework has been practically speaking in Pakistan from time since quite a while ago settled and it is likewise depicted as a social pattern. Presently it has turned into a condemnation. It postures a trial which appears to be hard to meet.
The order for the share has gotten to be most basic and key state of the marriage leeway and settlement. Working class individuals turned into the fundamental focus of the assault. In spite of the fact that Pakistan has a mass of social issues to handle today yet the greatest who the nation is confronting is endowment. Today we settle settlement rates for young men of distinctive classifications specialists, engineers, instructors, agents, administrators. Value of the young lady has nothing to do in the settlement of the marriage proposition by any means. We by and large see that normal folks think that it hard to choose a kid, very much settled in life, for their young lady who is all around talented and experienced with family exercises. Presently a day’s marriage is a round of endowment seekers, Marriage, which is something consecrated, ought to be made as straightforward as could be allowed.
There are a lot of negative consequences of dowry of which some are mentioned below,
1 Emotional Disturbance, Psychological and Social Maladjustment of Parents At one time, dowry used to be ‘accepted’ by the grooms party but now it has become to the ‘demanded’. The result is that from the birth of their daughter the problem of dowry disturbs the minds of the parents. And if by misfortune, a man has three or four daughters; his whole life is passed in arranging the marriage of his daughters. This leads to emotional disturbances, psychological and social instabilities.
2 Economic Straits The dowry system was forced upon the society in the past days. Whatever they earn, they spend on upholding the family standard in providing the supplies of family, educating children, and meeting various social obligations. The result is that to wed their daughters, they have to borrow money.
3 Adopting Social Corruption of Foul Means of Earning middle class parents find it extremely difficult to meet out the expenses covering dowry and all extravagances connected with the marriage. Compulsion surely raises corruption and so sometimes the parents of the girl will have to resort to foul means to make money to meet the dowry demand. Thus the girl’s parents indulge in misconducts in order to give money to their daughters.
4) Danger to unborn children:
Eager individuals don’t even think about the wellbeing of pregnant young lady and they say her to request that her guardians give more cash to them for the forthcoming kid. Their covetousness at some point causes the unborn infant and the child misfortunes its life. They even beat her for cash. This sort of garbage and miscreant individuals in the public arena are similar to backwoods creatures.
5) Increased family tensions: Aside from the social shame appended to the young ladies being come back to live with her guardians there are different issues. Her siblings and their wives may hate her vicinity, especially on the off chance that she has carried youngsters with her. She is seen as a channel on the family assets and may be verbally, and even physically, misused by her own family.
It is fair to say that problems due to dowry practices are something which women of all socioeconomic classes in Karachi are aware of. A number of negative consequences of these practices create a current, pressing problem in Karachi society. These consequences affect women’s status and their possibilities to grow and educate themselves. But it also seems that change is being brought on slowly, following the country’s development and increasing educational level of the younger generation. Awareness of dowry issues needs to be raised and steps need to be taken to speed up this process of change by empowering women and ensuring equality in Pakistan.

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