Dowry: A snake around the neck of every girl

The issue of dowry has been the bone of contention between men and women, although it is considered to be a sign of oppression, there still people exist who justify its validity.

Whenever there is a talk of dowry, a symbol of oppressive tradition; the issue of PERFECT DULHA, inferring mazloom men has been reared. Well, it didn’t happen just once rather has become contrary to dowry, an antonym. You lament dowry they would bang the logic of PERFECT DULHA in your face, saying women seek financially stable men (It’s another reality, how they are against working women, also they expect women not to even seek financially strong partner lol). The thing that bewilders my mind the most, is their sheer audacity to compare two issues standing poles apart. Dowry and salary?? Legit both have no comparison, nonetheless, let’s explore the two; In Pakistan, dowry also known as Jahez is the offering and receiving of money and other requirements transferring from the girl’s family to a groom’s. Almost 95% of marriages in Pakistan involves the exchange of dowry.

Almost 95% of marriages in Pakistan involves the exchange of dowry.

To talk about 150,000 salary, I don’t have an exact figure to ascertain my judgement but from surroundings to a distant relative, I am yet to see a woman demanding a man of 150,000. Okay, I might be too myopic to generalise my environs but even you could come up with figures, featuring how many women have placed this demand ahead. Obviously, in a middle class, you can’t expect nor you could afford to put such impractical demands, such a lavish lifestyle.

When it comes to Dowry, however, almost every woman is expected to provide it. It’s a sine qua non. Accordingly, there are two kinds of families; first who consider it their obligation to provide a dowry to their daughter even if the groom didn’t seem to arouse any demand. Just because of “what people would say” these families would go to any extent, even if it costs them an arm and leg, they will be okay. Second, is the kind of family who is demanded to provide a dowry, regardless of how indigent they are. The demand becomes the compulsion, urging the family to pursue any/every way just to ensure meeting the demands of the groom. In my near relative, I have seen an illiterate punk placing tremendous demands before the family of the girl. From air-conditioner to matchbox, the family had no choice but to manage, the groom on the other hand was capitalizing on their Impuissance to brag among his circle about the golden egg he just got. The brother of the girl, being a sole bread-earner, was impelled to do anything at his disposal so his sister could live happily thereafter. Even then the greed of the groom was not satisfied and kept swelling the list of demands until their first child was born (not to speak of whatever that ensued in the name of tradition)

It’s the case of almost every middle class; willingly or unwillingly has been the victim of dowry. Now let’s compare it to perfect Dulha;

According to Subhani, Muhammad Imtiaz and Afza, Sarwat (2009) at over 2,000 dowry-related deaths per year, and annual rates exceeding 2.45 deaths per 100,000 women from dowry-related violence, Pakistan has the highest reported number of dowry death rates per 100,000 women in the world.

  1. According to Subhani, Muhammad Imtiaz and Afza, Sarwat (2009): To estimate an equation explaining the determinants of Dowry; at over 2,000 dowry-related deaths per year, and annual rates exceeding 2.45 deaths per 100,000 women from dowry-related violence, Pakistan has the highest reported number of dowry death rates per 100,000 women in the world. Not just in Pakistan, even south Asia could not release itself from this evil. According to official figures from India’s National Crime Records Bureau, a woman is killed over dowry ‘ every hour’ in India.
  2. Just yesterday, a woman has been reported to have committed suicide given the unending demands of dowry. How many men could be claimed to have killed themselves because they were demanded a 150,000 salary?
  3. How many times, you were put to physical and mental torture, because you were unable to uphold their demand for the salary? In the lives of women, it has been a widespread issue.
  4. How many times you stayed stuck to just one proposal and felt your life being destroyed by that rejection? And you didn’t move on to another proposal convenient for your class? Women have been rejected just because they are unable to provide a dowry. Depression, suicide, and even settling for awfully cheap to relieve the burden of their parents, are some of the gloomy chapters of these women’s lives.
  5. How many times, you were set on fire, for your crime -not being able to earn 150,000- women have been burnt alive just for this crime. According to a report, compiled by newspapers, total average annual stove burn rates of 33 per 100,000 women in Pakistan, of which 49% were intentional for several reasons including dowry.

Another thing is the limited choices available to women. If you couldn’t get the girl of a well-off family, -obviously not a poor girl would come up with such an extravagant demand- you could opt for a girl compatible with your lifestyle. However, if a woman is unable to provide a dowry, she is forced to submit to a second marriage or be ready to be the wife of a widower. For our society, 150,000 is just an ideal case, Dowry, however, is an ingrained issue of women’s lives.

Even if you don’t agree with me, just look around at how many boys have suffered at the hand of this salary and how many women have been suffering because of the dowry you will find the absurdity of this comparison.

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