Dowry: the social evil

Dowry; a symbol of greediness and moral degradation. Pakistan became the first Muslim country to make dowry illegal and according to the bill passed, there is a limit set for receiving or giving dowry, that is four tola gold, clothes that belong to the bride and bedsheets only. However, the practice of expensive gifts and all kinds of household items that one can think of, continues without a glitch. Over 95 percent of all marriages in Pakistan involves transfer of dowry from the bride’s family to the groom’s family.

While many people can afford the demand of the groom’s family, there is a majority of people who cannot afford the demanded dowry and because of this the bride and her family have to lower their self esteem and have to face humiliation in this society. If their demands are not fulfilled many people call off the weddings and many people torture the girl physically and mentally after marriage in the name of dowry. Some extreme cases have seen the groom’s family murder the woman after marriage. Sadly, a considerable trousseau transcends even the realm of education, as the practice is little affected by the educational background of both parties. Rather, the more educated a guy is, the higher the price set on his head.

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In a world, which is already difficult for female existence, it is necessary to end such cultural traditions which are outside the scope of the rights given by Islam as well as the constitution. Marriage is a beautiful and sacred part of life; it should not be burdened with echoes of dowry. Rather, it should be based on mutual trust and love. Thus, it is absolutely necessary that the civil society and the masses take a stand against dowry and get rid the society of this constantly growing menace.

Armeen Aftab Sariyo

Karachi

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