In this article, read an essay on dowry system for students and children in 1000+ words. It includes history, causes, effects, and solution to stop this social evil.
Essay on Dowry System for Students and Children (1000+ Words)
If you want to know about the dowry system, then let’s start with our country, India, where it has been followed for a long time. Our ancestors started the dowry system for valid reasons; however, these days, this is leading to issues in the social environment.
In this essay about the dowry system, you will find what dowry exactly is, how it got started, and why it needs to be stopped.
History of Dowry System in India
The dowry system started even before Britishers in India. In those days, society doesn’t used to consider this as “Fee” or “Money” that needs to be paid to be the bride’s parents.
The concept behind this was to ensure that the bride will financially be stable after getting married. The intentions then were made clear, and so the bride’s parents used to provide assets, land, or money to the bride as a “Gift” to ensure that their daughter will be independent and happy after marriage.
However, when Britishers came, they restricted women from owning any property and could not buy assets, land, or any property. Therefore, men owned all the gifts given to the bride by her parents.
This rule changed the pure dowry system into a mess. These days bride’s parents are seeking their bride as a source of income. Parents hated their daughters and want only sons, and they demanded money as a dowry.
Women are being suppressed as they don’t have equal rights as men. And so, the groom’s parents follow this rule to their benefit.
Causes of Dowry System in India
1. Greed Factor
Dowry demanding often is exemplary of the collective greed of the society. Extortion in the name of compensation, social standing for the cost of groom’s education, his financial stability is the major factor of Indian marriages.
Demands are placed shamelessly and are expected to be met with silence. Threats of withdrawing the proposal loom on the bride’s family head at the cost of losing face in the portion and community of the agreed-upon sum prior to the actual function.
2. Society Structure
Dowry system is entirely the manifestation of the patriarchal nature where men are taken to be in higher level to women in aspects of mental and physical capabilities.
With the backdrop of such a social enforcement structure, women are said to be second-tier citizens, fit to assume only domesticated roles.
This perception associates them being treated as a burden in economic terms, first by the father and then by the husband. This feeling compounded by the dowry system energizes the belief that a girl child is a cause of draining the family’s finances.
3. Religious Dictates
Religious constraints imposed by society on marriage customs are a factor towards dowry issues. These constraints don’t condone inter-religious marriage or between different religious sects, and so limit the number of suitable matches.
Boys of marriageable age with the desired qualifications become a prize that encourages this evil practice to be caught by the highest bidder.
4. Social Constraints
Apart from a similar religious background, some constraints are imposed based on social status and the caste system. Practices such as clan exogamy and caste endogamy have to remember while arranging a match.
Preferred matches must belong to the same or higher social standing, different clan, or same caste. These limitations will deplete the pool of marriageable men leading to consequences, demanding dowry.
5. Social Status of Women
The inferior social-standing of women in Indian society is so deeply rooted in the country’s mind, that this treatment as commodities is accepted with no question, not only by the family rather also by women themselves.
When marriages are viewed as the ultimate achievement for women, evil practices such as dowry takes its root deeper in the social environment.
Effects of Dowry System
1. Injustice towards Girls
Dowry bears a significant financial obligation for the family of the bride. As a result, girls have viewed a source of drain on the family finance leading to onus.
This view develops into a gigantic proportion, taking the feticides of girl child and shape of infanticides. Girls are often marginalized in the regions of education, where boys are given more preference.
3. Violence Against Women
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Contrary to hopeful parents, dowry is not a onetime pay up. Demands are made by the bride’s family, who consider the girl’s family a never-ending source of finance. Inability by the girl’s family leads to domestic violence, verbal abuse, or even death.
The in-laws are burning brides are hardly a novelty in India. Continuous mental and physical torture instigates women to commit suicide or go into depression.
4. Economic Burden
Getting a girl married is related to a hefty amount of money by Indian parents because of subtle or direct demand for dowry by the groom’s family. Families often borrow heavily, mortgages leading to a major decline in economic health.
5. Gender Inequality
The idea of paying a dowry to get a girl married generates an increased sense of inequality among the genders, placing men superior to women. Girls may not attend schools while their brothers are given access to education.
They are being said as incompetent for roles other than housework and are also discouraged from taking up jobs. Their opinions are ignored, not valued, and suppressed. Behavioral and physical restrictions are imposed on girls that are completely natural for boys.
Why Should the Dowry System be Stopped?
The new dowry system is making problems in a social environment. Poor parents don’t get any groom who will marry their daughter without taking money. They have to take “marriage loans” to get their daughter married.
Further, dowry is getting a nightmare for women. The cases of infanticide are increasing as parents don’t have any other option. They can’t afford to have a girl child, and so they intentionally kill their infant girl child.
Dowry system is creating violence, and the groom’s parents misuse this pure tradition. They are unaware that they’re misusing it because they are uneducated regarding the traditional dowry system. Everyone just follows the new dowry system blindly.
Dowry is a complete injustice to women and doesn’t render her equal status in society. Because of this, men always are superior to women creating a negative and mess around the community.
Under the Dowry Prohibition Act, giving or taking dowry is illegal and is a crime. If you see someone giving or taking a dowry, then you can complain about them.
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Solutions to Stop Dowry System
1. Strict Law
Different laws are enacted to prohibit dowry and the injustice against girls stemming. The Dowry Prohibition Act was pressed on 20th May 1961, to eradicate this evil practice from a social environment.
This act declares not only the practice of accepting dowry unlawfully rather also penalizing giving of the same. It includes property, valuable security such as jewelry and cash exchanging hand during the marriage.
It is never enough to introduce act and amend sections to fight against dowry. Instead, this needs ruthless and strict enforcement of those laws. This aspect still leaves a lot to be desired.
Even if those allegations are taken seriously by the authorities, lack of proper investigation process often leads to the accused going free. The Govt. must ensure a zero-tolerance policy for such offenders and ensure enforcement of the laws through systematic changes.
3. Social Awareness
Creating a social awareness against dowry is the first step towards eradicating this evil practice. Campaigns must reach the deepest strata of society and aim to spread knowledge about legal provisions against dowry system. There is also a necessity to educate the girl children about this social evil.
4. Overhaul of Mindsets
India, as a country, needs a significant overhaul of its existing mindsets to push back against the evil custom of dowry system. They must realize the fact that in today’s social environment, women can do anything that men can.
Women themselves must come out of the belief that they are inferior to men and must depend on men to provide for them.
The dowry system is sound when one takes it as a gift given to the bride by her parents. If the groom’s parents demand money to get married as a “dowry”, then that is entirely illegal and wrong. Hope you liked this informative essay on dowry system.