Tie The Thali is pleased to work with our guest bloggers to bring to light the nitty – gritty, taboo subjects that revolve around relationships, marriage, and love. Yes, we are a wedding blog but what is a marriage or wedding? It is the legal or formal recognition of a union of two people as partners in a personal relationship. With this in mind, we decided to divulge into all the matters that lead up to and after a wedding. A wedding is a celebration but it is also another chapter of a relationship so why not explore all the nuances that a relationship do make?
We are going to start off the series with a post written by Thamilini Balakumar on a subject that has at one point or other touched your ears: Dowry.
The Price We Put On Our Daughters
Dowry is the money, goods or estate that a woman brings to her husband in marriage. However, it’s also the price we put on our daughters, their beauty, their achievements and their income. It’s the reason many women are unable to get married now. And it’s unfortunately the reason some women are abused after marriage.
Dowry was very prominent in the generations before us because females were not allowed to go to work. Because of this, females had no source of income, hence why dowry was used as a way for the father to help out his daughter and her husband for the future.
Females were thought to be burdens. So, the father was basically selling his daughter as he didn’t want to take care of her anymore. By offering dowry, the potential of finding a groom was much higher, hence why the rich females of that time were much more likely to get married rather than the poor. The rich had money to offer, but the poor had nothing but themselves. The repercussion of not offering dowry or offering minimal dowry was abuse. Dowry is offered all around the world, however abuse because of dowry is most common in South Asia. In some cases, the husband murders the wife over this. If not murdered, the wife suicides to escape from the torture.
We all know about the issues regarding daughters being born, no one wants a daughter. The rate at which South Asian families abort or kill baby girls is much higher than any other place in the world. Part of this is because families don’t want to pay dowry for their daughters. Tell me, is killing or abandoning a baby girl at birth because you don’t want to pay dowry the right thing to do? She’s a baby, she doesn’t know anything. For all you know, she can become a millionaire. But sadly no one wants to have faith and take that chance with girls.
Now, in the present, we’ve all grown so much and are slowly reaching that state of equality. Yet dowry is still so prominent in our cultures. Why? I wish I had the answer to that, but sadly I don’t. Females are definitely not a “burden” anymore. So why’re you still putting a price on us?
I may not have an answer to that question, but I do have a solution. Stand up, speak up. At the end of the day, hundreds of people, like myself, can keep writing these blog posts about such issues but nothing is going to change unless every single one of you slay those demons yourself. If you’re a woman being pressured by your boyfriend or in-laws for dowry, say no. In most cases it’s not as simple as saying no. But sometimes, voicing your opinion on it can go a long way. You don’t need someone that wants the dowry more than you. I promise you’ll find someone better, and if you don’t that’s okay. There’s nothing wrong with a woman living an independent life by herself.
Now regardless of social status and wealth, dowry should not be given. After all, you’re not an object to be sold.
Written by Thamilini Balakumar
* Header Image from http://www.culturalindia.net/