Social Issues

Dowry: a Curse and poison in Pakistan Society|Facts

A lot of appreciation can be seen that it is a great initiative by the Pakistani government to implement the law against Dowry in Pakistan. The question arises here:

  • How can government implement this law and keep check on families?
  • How can government put law on people private life?
  • Is this the responsibility of government to correct people morals?
  • Is the government’s banning dowry can make some girl life comfortable at her In-laws house?

Before find answers of these questions, let me put a quick glance at ‘what dowry means in Pakistan’. Why it is better to call it, the curse of dowry?

Dowry consists of those things that girl’s parents give to their daughter, so she could use them later in her In-laws house. Now, these few things have expanded to cars, houses, lots of gold for in-laws.

Some girl’s parents can afford these things, so they provide their daughter with every minor thing from spoon to ‘silver spoon’ to which she could feed her in-laws. It is really happening here. This includes washroom to the kitchen to bedroom accessories.

It seems there is a house that she needs to be filled with everything. Not because she is going to live in a separate house but in a combined family who is living in that house from years. These things (gifts) are limited not only to husband’s family but also to their relatives from near and far.

I can only agree with the dowry unless it belongs to girl own personal accessories or gift for her husband. (But not that kind of gift that includes cars, houses, furniture etc.)

The irony is instead of providing a girl comfortable house to live; now they are also getting a house too in dowry. Providing her with a house of her own is an impossible thing they are unable to provide her with a bedroom with furniture. One bed, one sofa and some wooden cupboard, if a man cannot afford to buy this before marriage then he should not get married unless he would be able to stabilize in his life. 

pic credit: unsplash.com

Coming to this point, I am not in favour of getting married early in case of men too. They should be studied, get some job, settle some business, enjoy one-two years if they want, spend money on themselves. Then they should move forward by including a person in their lives.

I have the opinion that this is all myth that everything will be settled after marriage. No, it is not going to be. Both husband and wife’s beautiful years after marriage get spoil because the husband has to pay a lot of debt and wife is equally disturbed because her parents have taken lots of money from people to arrange a lavish wedding ceremony and dowry.

Now the argument arises, if women are bringing dowry, then men also have to bring 10-15 expensive dresses, shoes along with gold. He also has to manage the entire relative’s gift that will stay with them during all this wedding session. I can never understand why there is a need to invite all relatives, who will just sit, eat your food, and talk behind your back.

Believe me, there will be only few who is going to be happy with your marriage, most are just there to find faults in your arrangements, in your food and in your bride.

Now when the girls are getting expensive education as much expensive as boys, and they are doing jobs. Of course, after marriage, the boy will get the benefit too. Even if he is a man of morality and not taking his wife’s salary, at least he has not to worry about wife expenses. However, if you think, a girl with a job is not bringing a large amount of dowry then you are wrong, they bring a lot more than others do. The girls bring a dowry of this much that their children use them years after years.

pic credit: unsplash.com

 Bringing things from lots of blankets to crockery, to furniture to clothes not only for her but also for the entire family of men give the impact that men’s family cannot afford to buy a single dress including coats and shawls. It seems they are unable to buy a single thing for them after marriage. It seems marriage is a good deal to collect things. It seems men’s family is poverty-stricken and the girl is some Ngo who come to help them financially.

I am depicting some samples that how men’s family ask for dowry. Here are some morality jokes related to it:

We do not need furniture, there is not much space in our house, but you can give money to us, we will make wooden cupboards in your daughter’s room. It will be only beneficial for her.

(Why you cannot make cupboards in your son’s room before your daughter-in-law coming to your house. It will be a gesture of kindness and will show your morality)

You are living far away from our city, so furniture would be a burden for you guys, so just give us money ,we will buy from own city and furniture of our own choice.

(Why it cannot be like, there is no need to bring furniture. Our son is earning enough or we will arrange furniture at least for their bedroom) 

  • We do not need your dowry, we r not demanding anything but it is your daughter and it’s your choice to give her something.

(This ‘something’ contains things that expand in millions)  This has become so common that even if before marriage In-laws agrees on not taking dowry, after marriage they make the girl’s life hell. So parents of the bride (in fear) give as much as they can to their daughter so there would not be any problem for her. They give their daughter everything even minor ones, so the next day she has not to ask anyone. She would just take her things and could use them.

The few people who can afford to give their daughter houses, cars and jewellery, they have made life difficult for others. Now people have expectations from their In-laws and they give examples of other people that how much someone has given to their daughter.

In case of the daughter, parents are so helpless that not only dowry but even on every little occasion, they are bound not to give money or gifts to their daughter, her husband or children but even the husband’s family(including his married sisters and brothers’ family) are in wait to receive lots of things.  

Our newspapers are replete with the incident of women’s burning by their In-laws because they could not manage to bring dowry. Even they have brought dowry, every time In-laws need money, the girls pressurized to get more money and this continues. 

 I know there are some rare cases, there are good people, and there are men who think it is their responsibility to provide a home to their wives. Who think it is not good to pressurize the girl’s parents. Even there is a husband who takes care of the needs of a wife’s family. But these cases are very rare. Our society is filled with money minded and greedy people more. Their focus is more on grabbing money rather than providing comfort.

pic credit: unsplash.com

To Stop the Curse of Dowry, change is needed:

 In my opinion, the government cannot bring the change, no law can force people to change their mentality, and the government is not going to look into people house to see what is happening.

The change is only possible when people will take a stand. When men will earn and will be happy to think that they will provide their life-partner with a comfortable house or at least a comfortable room. The change is only possible when people’s mentality will change that though without money life is difficult, but without relations it is impossible.

“The change is only possible when people money-minded approach to life would change”.

 Stop pressuring your sons to get married when you cannot provide financial support to them. I have seen it in poor or even in middle-class families. Middle-class families are more pressurized, doing more struggles to maintain the rules of society, to follow the rituals of society. Stop pressurized your sons until he is not able to support his family.

Stop demanding dowry from someone when you cannot afford to give her a comfortable place to live. Do not make other life hell because of your greed. Stop making marriage “a business” and stop sacrificing your children’ happiness for the sake of money. Earn for yourself instead of demanding and taking things from others. Do not try to make your life comfortable on other’s hard work and money.

I believe we all are part of this dowry system, it is not only the fault of men, and it’s the fault of women too. After all, in most cases, it is the mother-In law who perform this obligation to burn down her daughter-In law. But it does not mean, men, are innocent. When they think they are more intelligent than women then why they cannot understand the politics of power in their household.

The problem is ‘Greed for money’ but why people think Dowry is the only way to bring a better change in their lifestyle.

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Naz khaliq

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Naz khaliq

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