Dowry: A menace

No doubt our society has evolved over the years economically, socially, politically, and to some extent morally but one thing has remained the same. I believe you would have understood from the title – the menace of dowry. This subject is something I consider highly crucial to discuss because it is directly connected to our honor – SISTERS. It is even more important than politics nowadays.
There is a widespread figure that almost 2000 cases pertaining to dowry-related deaths are reported every year even though we have seemingly evolved over the years. Why is this so? Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Dowry, Bridal Gift, and Marriage Functions Restrictions Act, 2017 is a precedent for other provinces to follow the same footsteps. This is not only a nuisance and anxiety for parents but for the girl too who has to get married anyway because she knows without this, no one is going to accept her.
Two years back in 2018, a trend had gone viral where Pakistani celebrities wrote: “Jahez Khori Band Karo” (stop asking for dowry) on their hands. But it was a matter of time that it too vanished into thin air. One important thing also needs to be kept in mind that historically, it is not our tradition. It goes back to the Hindu tradition where presents were given by parents, relatives, and friends to the bride. Now, it has embedded into our customs in such a manner that it is almost impossible to extirpate.
According to one figure, 95% of all marriages in Pakistan entail dowry from the bride’s family to the groom’s family. It is a silent and non-violent form of violence against women that is why it does not come under the notice of anyone. Here, I think both men and women are in dire need of education or maybe men more in this regard because it’s the groom’s family who demands dowry in any form whether furniture, car, house, or hefty sum of money. In the end, all that remains is rejection on part of the daughter’s family just because they cannot meet such demands.
Many daughters of our country get divorced just because of this cult. Many get beaten because they didn’t bring a dowry with them and many are even killed. Poor families are more vulnerable to this menace. What is the fault of unfortunate families in this who cannot afford to give such luxuries as a dowry to their daughters? This ultimately becomes the cause of late marriages, pressurized marriages, and even no marriage.
My plea is to parents that stop giving your daughters to beggars. Daughters are the precious most thing which parents give to a man then why dowry? Stop viewing your daughters as a liability. God is the best planner. Daughters are the biggest and exquisite Gift bestowed by God to the parents.
The panacea to this cult – dowry – is that there should be a law that prohibits mandatory dowry – which is demanded and endorse discretionary dowry – which is given to the bride as a gift by her family. The discretionary dowry may include anything which a family of the girl can easily afford.
Last but not the least, my request to the men is, be a man enough and “start marrying a woman for love and stop divorcing a woman for money.”

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