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You are here : home > Women's Issues > General Issues > The Dowry System

The Dowry System

The dowry system is so deeply rooted in Indian culture, that sometimes one feels that there's going to be no way out - at least not for another century.


Even modern, well-educated families start saving up money for their daughter's dowry as soon as she is born, so what can one expect from the uneducated masses, whose only form of education is tradition?

When demands for dowry are not met, the bride is subject to torture, and often even killed. The reason many parents don't want to have daughters is because of the dowry they will have to shell out at her marriage, and the stress they go through due to never ending demands from her in-laws.

Dowry is an evil, evil system and all of us, at some level, condone it and even contribute to it.

Often the boys parents don't demand dowry, but our culture is such that we feel we must give something to the in-laws. In such cases, give as much as you receive. When you go out of your way because you are the parents of the girl, you are contributing to this evil.

Come festivals like Diwali or Holi, and the parents of the daughter flood her in-laws with gifts. If gifts are expected - your daughter is married into the wrong family. If such giving is self-inflicted, you're making a mistake. Give a token present to your daughter. If you want to give her something more, do so, but don't feel pressured to give anything more than you receive to her in-laws. You don't need to if your daughter is happily married and has a supportive husband - so DON'T.


Educate your daughters

An astounding number of parents still don't lay enough emphasis on educating their daughters. They believe their daughters will get married eventually, and husbands will support them, so why push them so hard? Poorer sections of society would rather send their daughters out to work and earn some money, to help them save up for her dowry. Those from regular middle and upper class backgrounds do send their daughters to school, but don't emphasise career options. They view education as a rite of passage. If their daughters do well, it's something to brag about at kitty parties.

Similarly, very wealthy parents will happily support their daughters until they get married. Because of the family status and their ability to fork out a high dowry, they know they will get good matches for their daughter, and don't take their daughters education very seriously.

Get serious about your daughter's education. Encourage her to have a career of her own, no matter what your financial standing. One of the reasons parents of the boy ask for dowry, is that they often expect that their son will be earning and supporting the wife, and it is only fair that she contribute somewhat towards the household by way of dowry. If your daughter is educated and has as good a career as her husband to be, you've got a strong step in your favour.

Instead of giving her dowry so everyone is nice to her at her new home, give her a great career, so they can't help but respect her. So if they treat her badly, she can walk out, as she is not dependent on them.

So they need her monthly contribution to the household expenses and dare not mess with her.

Providing your daughter with a solid education, and encouraging her to pursue a career of her choice is the best dowry any parent can ever give their daughter.

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Recent comments (186 comments)
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Comment: 
Name: Sunanda
Country: India

Educating girls..making them career oriented...STRONG..INDEPENDENT...and NOT teaching them that marriage is the "final destination" of life...can save this society...
 
Name: Anonymous
Country: India

Dear Sisters and Their Parents. First stop treating boy as ATM machine. Do not marry a boy based on salary and property. Then everything will be correct. Do not compare your salary with boy salary. Girls, Girl parents has commercial mind, In India it has become habitual for every thing, blaming boys. Day to day more biased laws are coming out against boys. But in reality every responsibility taken by boys. What respect Indian society is giving to boys.
 
Name: Anonymous.Liebling
Country: India

There are sooo many people speaking their mind out on Dowry. Should it be given...Should it not be given ?? This will for some time remain un answered. Well.....Am am strictly against it my self....this DOWRY tradition has caused so many families so much of trauma and so many families have been literally destroyed due to it. But my question to all of you is.....Is it only the Boy's family which should be impersonated and levelled accuses for demanding Dowry. ??....Well Well Well.....Think again......Dowry is also given by girl's families who are Lavishly Rich. If you ask them the reason...Pat comes the reply...” We want to show the world that our daughter got married in Royalty. Tell me...Before a girl gets married...its natural for her/her family to search for a guy who is soooooo lavishly rich as well. Going by the word....they find a match who is better well off than the girl's family her self. All that the girl will enjoy after marriage in terms of financial gains.....share in husband;s property and other bebefits attached to “WEALTH” of the boy .....she literally becomes a billionaire if her desire to marry a richer boy is met and in most cases...it is. SO it is about the money mindedness of the girl as well.....isnt it ??? Would a lavishly rich girl ever marry a decent boy...earning a decent salary along with traits an honest and a dedicated man would ???........NAY..Not so.......So when your sole intention of getting married is based on the FINANCIAL PROSPERITY of the boy......Can u expect the right match.......??? We say all that glitters is not gold......do we actually apply that to our lives ??? People before finalizing a match have often said “ LADKA TOH HEERA HAI” what do they mean.....the traits of the boy or in literal sense the Diamond embedded on his crown ??? The latter obviously then why crave for materialistic benefits ??? Why not choose a guy who loves...who respects...needs nothing.....and treeats everyone with respect......may be someone who is self dependent. When you move into a cave.....the only way is RETREATING. We as humans have always craved for more and more and have been ungrateful for what we get. Because of this we have now been surrounded with false claims and unstable lives. People say that Dowry is important......wen i say people...i mean the girl's family........This is what one of the surveyers had to say wen he interviewed some girl families.... 1.When our children have encounter their events such as birthdays...we flood them with presents...we are happy that they are growing up...why not give presents to them wen they are entering into such an important phase of their life....Wedding is a massive event in one's life... so why not give presents on such an important event ?? and since the boy shall be a part of our family too......why not flood him with presents as well ?? When we have such a mentality......Can we expect the best ??? Nowadays people call Dowry as Customary gifts....Presents......and they are happy to boast about it......One fine day i heard this filthy rich man say “ I gave an AUDI A6 to my daughter......who has the balls to match me.......and we say that dowry is important ???? In India it has become Showbiz for Show offs and a matter of standard now. Am not a person who is an anti feminist but i rationally want to ask....are we moving in the right direction and a healthy society ??? This article am posting is really big as am a writer myself.....but people do spare some time to Read it. I know that this social evil has acounted for lives of soooo many women in India. The bloody greedy boys and their families have burnt the lovely “sanskaari” bahus just on the pretext of bringing insufficient or no Dowry. To Curb these practises , a very important LAW was introduced called 498A. The Law to a good extent had resolved dowry disputes and guaranteed justice to women. Its only in the Rural Areas where Dowry still exists...In Irban India...it does too but as a propaganda of Customary gifts and presents and of course a matter of STANDARD. Remember....one cannot buy happiness . To all those people who believe in an exchange of happiness upon giving dowry.......Please be rational. And now Modern India witnesses another EPIDEMIC in the form of Dowry LAW 498A misuse. The guys have stepped up and styarted to say no to Dowry......The girl's parent however...insistant as they were before.......and under the garb of 498A...these greedier people have strated to misuse this lAW to their own advantage and to satisfy their greedy desires......DO u call this retalliation ??? Does it mean that all this never ends....??? At one time India witnessed innocent Woman being harassed for insufficient/no dowry and now we see innocent men being harassed due to failed marriages under the fake veil of dowry harassment. Failed marriage is not a crime but nowadays girls specially have their noses up as they believe that they have given sufficient dowry” ....Did anyone ask you for it ??? and when they would bunge to adjust in a new family......POCKET MEIN ROCKET........and the perfect wedding present IPC 498A is abused.......tell me...is adjusting such a tough thing to do ???? am sure it aint........then why do we spoil our marriges on petty issues which are not even close to Dowry . Mind you...the amount of Women Empowerment India has witnessed is much more than the western countries. But we as Indians...we just need MORE AND MORE. I can just go on and on with statistics and stuff which may not cross our minds and stuff which may sound stupid to others. I will sign off now but....... People........... we already know that people in INDIA are the biggest consumers of everything. LETS Not Consume each other.
 
Name: xyz
Country: India

When treating boy as ATM machine. If boy has property, huge salary, then only girl , girl parents accept him. So no one thinks this as unjustice. Dowry will not be given freely. Girl, Girl parents expects more from boy in terms of property, salary than girl, for that they are paying. Why girl, girl's has to expect more. Why girl's parents are not giving 50% share to their daughter. What a unjustice to boys. if girl has job, is she giving a life to boy who does not have job. Even if boy's salary less than girl salary, then girl will not accept him. I can show 98% cases.
 
Name: priyanka
Country: India

i hate this dowry system.. ek toh v give u our daughter which is more imp then cash and kind.. still how in-laws can expect dowries ???
 
Name: anamika
Country: India

if we ask any one, every one is say that we are against dowry system.But no one raise their voice.I want to say if we really want to delete this system, Please start it from your own house, from neighbors, from relative.May be we safe a life which is kill by dower.
 
Name: PRADIP
Country: India

My daughter had an love story.her beloved is now working with state bank of india,navi mumbai,neft department...belongs from siliguri.they have met via jeevansathi.com..she loves him very much.he also used to call me "pori"(angel).but a few days ago his family told about "dahej".they wanted 4 wheeler or same cash,breslet.they told that make a registry marriage and give us balance which u have planned for marriage ceremony.told to give money as they can clear thier debt of education loan of thier daughter.my relatives can't take a part in discussion regarding marriage--it's thier condition.asked about our insurance as I LOST MY WIFE BY A ROAD ACCIDENT ...WE belong from a bengali family.we r totally against of dahej system.but we were afraid that my daughter can accept it or not.but she has broken it..bcoz she thinks it is a big crime..if we can't reduce it..it can pollute our society...i'm really feel proud for her... Till now she falls tears infront GOD..but didn't indulge the system..
 
Name: Yolanda
Country: U.S.A.

Dec 24, 2011 I recently saw a documentary showing how this horrible tradition affects your nation. Life is too precious for parents to kill or dispose of their baby girls in such a manner!! How can this be allowed in a society where enlightened people supposedly live. It is time for a change. What ideas do you have for a change to take place? Should it come from the people or from the government? Why is it so hard for this traditon to be stopped. Does your God allow this, is it ok to kill and harm another human being?? I, as a person, have been affected very much by knowing that this is happening in this day and age. What can I do to help????
 
Name: Kalpana Sarang
Country: India

Marriage is connecting two ppl and their family. Why dowry shud cum in between them. I really don't understand some ppl very well knew tht the girl's family is not able to give more dowry but still they will demand more. when they particular abt money, material let them go to ppl who r ready give. why they want to suck the blood of the family who r nt capable. Govt has to bring a rule that whenever they give dowry, both have to pay a higher amt of tax, then only i think we will cum to know how black money is engaged in this customs. Also whoever take loan will be fear to give dowry as many % will go by tax. unless r until they pay the tax, Govt should not allow the marriage. only in India all this nonsense happens. A man has to settle his sister(s), then only he will marry in his early 30's r 40's later on he will non-stop running to make his daughters wedding. he will not even enjoy the wealth r comfort. The hard earned money will be saved n transfered to an unknown person along with his daughter. Without any guilty he (the groom) will accept everything. Female infanticide is truly connected with this bull shit customs.
 
Name: Diljeet
Country: India

Dowry system can't be removed by only girls but boys have to take step. Girls are the mother, And mother is a face of GOd. So give request to girls....Thanks
 
Name: ISA
Country: Turkey

i was reading a novel and i saw the word dowry.i tried to understand this word.finally i found and read the article about dowry.i undrestood what dowry is very clearly.it is reall sad.i think only a good education can solve this problem.what i read the dowry system is a very strong custom in india.hopefully a good education is a way for all new indian people.
 
Name: sheetal
Country: India

dowery system is the human being
 
Name: Anam khurshid rana
Country: Pakistan

v v nice and important issue.dowry system must be removed from our society.
 
Name: Mirza Shaji Baig Advocate
Country: India

group and community marriages can also help in removing this evil from the society.
 
Name: Mirza Shaji Baig Advocate
Country: India

the women should concentrate on their education and career rather than regarding marriage as their only way of salvation. instead of having their parents chasing after the men of higher status, the women themselves should raise their own status, so that the men run to them, begging the women to marry them. with modernization and the increasing role of women in a productive economy, creating other ways for wives to contribute to their families` economic well being, one would expect support for the dowry system to diminish.
 
Name: Advocate Mirza Shaji Baig
Country: India

during the ancient times dowry was considered as a custom in our country. the custom however became a social evil with the passage of time. this social evil has taken lives of many innocent brides for its non fulfillment. deaths of young brides through suicide or homicide following disputes over the dowry are increasingly a feature of indian society. the 18th law commission has recommended increasing the minimum sentence from 7 to 10 years in dowry death cases. it has, however, declined the suggestion to increase the maximum punishment from life imprisonment to death sentence.
 
Name: Swati Puri
Country: India

very good article. i think its high time we start making our daughters equally competitive and career oriented as our sons. in india ,what i have felt is that it is not only dowry but in every social function like mundan and all ,girls parents are supposed to give gifts and other items to the inlaws and the worst is that the boy's parents think that it is their birth right. what crap!! frankly speaking, i really feel that we need to reform our society and put an end to all this nonsense.
 
Name: Rahul Patel
Country: India

dowry is such a thing which shows prestige of a girl when she goes to her in laws house and because of this reason the family members of the girls house tries to give as much as possibile. if less is given to the girl then the girl has to suffer many things and is being torchered by many people.
 
Name: PURNIMA
Country: India

accroding to me!dowry is the earn money by the uneducated minded pepole
 
Name: ansari
Country: India

do agree.....specially in some cultures...where daughter-in-law's father is abused for every small thing like clothes not coming from daughter's place in diwali...not invited in some silly function..this should come from girl's place that should come from girl's place, a bunch of garbage that usually mothet in law talks....i really tht these kind if in laws should be dragged to public and exposed badly.....whatever be the love and affection between husband and
 
Name: Rizwan alam
Country: India

this is the only society in the world that treats its women as a burden.our society thinks that the man is taking care of his wife, feeding and clothing her, so he and his family needs to be paid(compensated) in the form of dowry. but in true sense a women marries a man, takes care of him, takes care of all his needs, bears children for him, gives him his own family and still she is treated worse than an animal.
 
Name: Arti singh
Country: India

friends,i have also seen many cases of dowry,i have 1 elder sister she is as a burden upon my father even she is loving of father .so we shouldn't follow such a bad custum oterwise there willn't be any differences between educated and uneducated people.
 
Name: Bhulan Kr. SahaAmrit shah
Country: India

i think dowry system is a bad mentality of our country's people bcoz its always harmfull to us.
 
Name: ashi
Country: India

well this damn thing should give u information on dowry.but till some limit it's ok.
 
Name: gaurav tiwari
Country: India

its very very bad its harmful for our cultute and society


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