Dowry a symbol of injustice

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This report would not have been possible without the guidance and the help of several individuals who in one way or another contributed and extended their valuable assistance in the preparation and completion of study. First and foremost, my utmost gratitude to my teacher Sir Muhammad Haneef whose sincerity, encouragement and valuable instructions help for preparing this report. Last but not the least, my family and the one above all of us, the omnipresent God, for answering my prayers for giving me the strength to plod on despite my constitution wanting to give up and throw in the towel.
DOWRY A SYMBOL OF INJUSTICE Mina Fakher Student of Bs-Psychology Department of Social Sciences and Humanities Email: [email protected] edu. pk University of Management and Technology, Lahore Abstract: Dowry is a distressing symbol in every segment of our society and is no longer a set of gift items that are contributing towards a suitable beginning of practical life of newly married couple. It imbalances the status of women and affects women mentally and physically. Because of dowry the bride is subject to torment and often even murdered.
The purpose of this study is to analyze to find out how much people like this system and how much are against it, to inform primarily youth and students about the social, economic, psychological and health hazards of dowry and dowry violence, to organize and mobilize students and parents against dowry and to identify what dowry is and is it justice or injustice. For this purpose the researcher has conducted quantitative study in UMT. The participants of the study were selected through random sampling technique with the population of 100, 50 males and 50 females. For collecting data researcher has developed quantitative questionnaires.
After collecting the data, data was analyzed through SPSS by using simple frequency distribution. After analyzing data it was concluded that most of the respondents are against this system. Simple random sampling technique and questionnaires as a data collection instrument has used to accomplish this research. Keywords: Dowry, injustice, Marriage. Introduction: Dowry is a distressing symbol in every segment of our society and is no longer a set of gift items that are contributing towards a suitable beginning of practical life of a newly married couple. This is the basic reason why people get depressed at the birth of daughter.
People refuse to marry when dowry is demanded. It imbalances the status of women and affects women mentally and physically. Because of dowry the bride is subject to torment and often even murdered. Dowry is money, goods or estate that a woman brings to a marriage and an act of discrimination against unmarried girls, whose values are based on the prices of their respective dowries. It is the bride price which is paid by the groom or his family to the bride parent’s and the dower, which is the property given to the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage.
Our primary objective is to identify what dowry is and is it justice or injustice. Dowry is one of those social practices which no educated person would own up with pride, although many still adhere to this much deplorable practice. It continues to be given and taken. Even among the educated sections of society, dowry continues to form an essential part the negotiations that take place in an arranged marriage. This has a devastating effect on the lives of unmarried women who are increasingly considered burdensome economic liabilities.
The custom of dowry has been linked to the practice of female infanticide and among married women, to the more obvious connection with bride burning and dowry death. We have taken under consideration the forms and determinants of dowry system. Than we also want to understand the link between dowry and violence against women/girls in Pakistan. The focus of our study remains on attempting to understand the cultural, social and personal reasons to adopt, adhere and affirm the dowry practice and the apparent silence; rather, non-recognition; of dowry violence even among the ruling and intellectuals elites of the country.
Objectives: To find out how much people like this system and how much are against it. To inform primarily youth and students about the social, economic, psychological and health hazards of dowry and dowry violence. To organize and mobilize students and parents against dowry. To identify what dowry is and is it justice or injustice. Sociological Significance: Dowry system has become a great problem for the people in our society. It is the study about any social problem and to search for its solution is a sociological exercise and as such falls within the realm of sociology.
Literature review: The focus of this study is to estimate an equation explaining that how the customs of dowry has become more prevalent in societies of Pakistan and how it is affecting our women who are considered as an economic burden. According to various studies the dowry phenomenon is exist heavily in rural subcontinent, at the same time research related to this system is very rare. (Ms. Sarwat Afzal, Dr. Imtiaz Subhani Sept. 2009 “To estimate an equation explaining the determinants of dowry”).
A women in Pakistan is entitled by law at marriage to: (i) a dowry and marriage gifts from her parents; and (ii) a dower (mahr), a bridal gift from the groom which is generally intended to provide some insurance for her in the case of. It is noted in the article of Ms Sarwat Afzal and Dr. Imtiaz Subhani, however, that the dowry she receives at the time of marriage is usually considered her pre-mortem inheritance, which is typically less than she is entitled to under the law. (Ms. Sarwat Afzal, Dr. Imtiaz Subhani Sept.
2009article“To estimate an equation explaining the determinants of dowry”). In 1993 the Pakistan law commission recommended amending and updating the 1976 Act and suggested the limit of dowry to be increased to Rs. 50,000 for urban areas and Rs. 20,000 for rural areas. The wedding expenditure was however raised to Rs. 25,000 in the urban and Rs. 10,000 in the rural areas. The law continued to be flouted and in 2003 the law commission again announced that it was preparing a draft law on marriage and expenses, Dowry and bridal gift (Restriction) Act, 2003, to replace the 1976 Act.
RakhshindaPerveen-Co-Founder SACHET –Pakistan, HadiRabeea, MoomiZartash and LatifRizwan2011 article “Forgotten: Dowry A socially endorsed form of violence in Pakistan”). Quarrels over the dowry give rise to what newspaper portray as “dowry murders” where wives are flamed alive by their husbands ancestors. Thus “dowry” aggression does not pass on directly to marriage-related expenditures made at the time of the nuptials, but to supplementary payments demanded after the marriage by the groom’s family where the husband steadily abuses the wife in order to extort larger transfers.
ShaziaGulzar, Muhammad Nauman, FarzanYahya, Shagafat Ali and Mariam Yaqoob “article- Dowry system in Pakistan”). In the society of Pakistan, there are different customs and doings in the functions of wedding done by the families of bride and groom but one thing which is common in weddings is the trend of dowry. Dowry is a dreadful and unethical practice. This practice of dowry is not religious but it is continued to be practice in many countries of the world.
Even in big cities like Lahore and Karachi, we can easily find the many examples of this system and issues after marriage for not giving dowry. The hadith said about this dowry is as “The most advantageous Nikkah (wedding) is one which is the easiest. ” The mandate of the dowry has become most indispensable and vital condition of the marriage clearance and settlement. (The Pakistani Spectator-a candid blog July 25th 2013 “Dowry system in Pakistan”). The concept of dowry itself is prohibited in Islam but it forbids the ugly exhibition of wealth in the name of dowry.
The exhibition and practices of dowry has been prohibited by law in 1947, different other ways have been carved out to practice this curse. (Ramsha Maheen Karachi May 2012 “The curse of dowry”). The rise of the dowry system among Muslims of the subcontinent appears to date back only some decades. Like many other customs and social institutions in subcontinent, dowry is said to originate from Hindu customs. Traditional Hindu laws recognizes several types of marriage, the most approved being the Brahma form in which the bride’s father gives her away without any consideration.
In the Brahma form, the bride’s father offered his daughter adorned properly, but was under no compulsion and these gifts are given to the daughter personally. Some other authors have tried to justify this system of dowry by reference to the practices of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) that is Sunnah. The customs of giving dowry has traditionally been more prevalent in north than in south India and in the latter region, more commonly found among Brahmans than others. In the growing literature on dowry, research is divided into two strands of inquiry.
The first deals with marriage payments themselves (i. e. , dowry or bride price)and the second with the recent surge in the level of dowry payments in South Asia. The trend of rising dowries, commonly referred to as “dowry inflation,” has received much attention, as payments can represent multiple years’ worth of a family’s income and often cause severe destitution of households with daughters of marriageable age. Others have observed that in societies where dowry has occurred, women were considered an economic burden since a wife performed little or no income producing work for the household.
Arrange marriages characterizes the Indian marriage system parents of a daughter are often willing to provide a good dowry to secure a suitable husband for her partly to avoid the prospect of the daughter’s long term dependence on the parents. Muslims and members of lower status tribes for example are less likely than others to support the dowry. Methodology: Universe: Universe is the “total population from which a sample is selected. (Good & Hatt, 1952:239). The universe off present study consisted of students studying in the in the Social Sciences and Engineering departments of University of Management & Technology Lahore.
Sampling: “A sample is a smaller presentation of a large whole. (Good & Hatt, 1952:209). For the present study two departments were selected randomly from the University of Management & Technology Lahore. Design: This research is designed on the basis of quantitative method. The researcher has used simple random sampling technique while conducting the survey. Participants: The number of participants was selected for this research was 100, 50 males and 50 females. Age selected for this purpose was divided in three categories 16-20, 21-25 and 26-30.
This research has been conducted from two departments social sciences and engineering. The process of simple random sampling technique has used in this research. Apparatus and materials: The apparatus and materials used in this study was internet which is an important source and questionnaires through which the actual results are in front that which people are against it and how many are in favor of dowry. Procedure: Participants were taken randomly from the University Management and technology. They were given instructions to fill the survey with proper concentration and understanding.
Tools for Data Collection: Keeping in view the nature and sampling of the study a quantitative method based questionnaire was prepared in English language. “Questionnaire refers to a device for securing answer to question by using the respondents fill in him”. Data Collection: Data collection took around three days in the month of December, 2013. Respondents on general were cooperative and handed over the questionnaire within ten minutes after the questionnaire was given to them. Data Analysis: Demographics Profile: (1) Age: The respondents which were in the age 16-20 were 54%.
Then which were in the age 21-25 were 43% and which were in the age 26-30 were 3%. Both male and female has taken part in this research like shown above in the table 50% males and 50% female. (3) Program: 14% engineering students were surveyed about this study and 86% social sciences students were surveyed about this study. Analysis of questionnaires: Q1: Is dowry system a serious issue in our society? The heavy majority of respondent is 91% that means they accept that dowry is a serious issue of our society. Q2: Do you think population and poverty are the main causes of dowry system?
The heavy majority of participants that is 61% that the main cause of dowry system are poverty and population. Q3: Is dowry a necessity of our society? The heavy majority of participants are 75% who think that dowry is a necessity of our society. Q4: Are you in favor of taking and giving dowry? The heavy majority of participants that are 84% are not in favor of taking and giving dowry. Q5: Do you think government should legally ban dowry? The heavy majority of participants that are 77% are in favor that dowry should be ban legally by government. Q6: Do you think because of dowry, parents don’t give birth to a girl?
The heavy majority of participants that are 60% think that only because of dowry some parents don’t give birth to a girl. Q7: After giving dowry to the bride groom family do you think the bride is safe? The heavy majority of participants that are 70% think that bride is not safe after giving dowry to the bridegroom family. Q8: Do you think that love marriages can overcome dowry? Almost the majority of participants that are 53% thinks that even love marriages can also not overcome dowry. Q9: Parents of the bride lose their self- respect under the burden of dowry system do you think its justice or injustice?
The heavy majority of participants that are 80%, it is not justice that parents of the bride lose their self- respect under the burden of dowry system. Q10: Do you yourself prefer marriage in the condition or the compulsion of dowry? The heavy majority of participants that are 81%, most of the participants are not in favor that they themselves in marriage do not want the condition or compulsion of dowry. Findings: 1. The heavy majority of respondent is 91% that means they accept that dowry is a serious issue of our society. 2.
The heavy majority of participants that is 61% that the main cause of dowry system are poverty and population. 3. The heavy majority of participants are 75% who think that dowry is a necessity of our society. 4. The heavy majority of participants that are 84% are not in favor of taking and giving dowry. 5. The heavy majority of participants that are 77% are in favor that dowry should be ban legally by government. 6. The heavy majority of participants that are 60% think that only because of dowry some parents don’t give birth to a girl. 7.
The heavy majority of participants that are 70% think that bride is not safe after giving dowry to the bridegroom family. 8. Almost the majority of participants that are 53% thinks that even love marriages can also not overcome dowry. 9. The heavy majority of participants that are 80%, it is not justice that parents of the bride lose their self- respect under the burden of dowry system. 10. The heavy majority of participants that are 81%, most of the participants are not in favor that they themselves in marriage do not want the condition or compulsion of dowry. Conclusion:
It is concluded that dowry is an immorality in the society which must be banned in the country. It leads toward promoting many conflicts, quarrels and greed in the society. Nevertheless, people are not in the favor of this system. Moreover, girls become mentally affected and parents lose their self- respect under the burden of dowry. Consequences of this research show that our youth is well aware of this evil which is in our society. In addition, to control this system youth and government should take steps. Suggestions: 1. In the present study, data was collected from educated population.
Another study might be conducted in population, which had lower levels of education or are illiterate. 2. The government should make more actively movements on banning dowry system legally. 3. The newspaper should publish the columns on against dowry system as a routine matter. 4. A wide range of seminars and workshops should be organized by the government institutions, educational institutions and by other NGO’s to educate public about the evil system of dowry in our country. Discussion: The study examined the effect of dowry system on our society.
It is apparent that dowry gives no advantage to society and proved as a social evil. The objectives of this research were to substantiate the effect, favoritism and involvement of people in this evil activity. This research examined that dowry imbalances the status of women and its mental effect on women. The factors that has attested as restriction to marriage, dowry is critical one. This research demonstrates the knowhow of this evil among our Pakistani society and especially among our youth that they are disagreeing in the favor of dowry.
The results showed that our youth is aware of that dowry are a serious issue of society, 91% has agreed. 77% are in favor that dowry should be legally ban by the government in our country. Results have also shown that dowry system has created imbalance in the status of women. The greater part of the respondents also strongly agree that population and poverty are the main causes of dowry system. And it was also revealed that people are not in favor of dowry system. Mostly respondents agree that dowry cannot even overcome love marriages.
However, this research has verified that “Dowry is a symbol of injustice” is the most crucial factor of our society. Limitations: The research has certain limitations in it and that are as under: Due to limited resources and finance from only one place that is UMT has been taken in account. Results of the study are not generalize-able as the data is limited only 100 respondents have been taken in account. Data was taken only from UMT. Recommendations: Government should ban this system for each and every class in Pakistan. There should be NGOs that honestly make efforts to control this system.
Marriage is a right of every person but dowry is grasping this right. Therefore, youth should take stand against this structure to get their rights. Dowry is becoming a convention in the civilization gradually. Thus, parents have to stop demanding dowry. References: Ms. SarwatAfzal, Dr. ImtiazSubhani Sept. 2009 “To estimate an equation explaining the determinants of dowry”. RakhshindaPerveen-Co-Founder SACHET –Pakistan, HadiRabeea, MoomiZartash and LatifRizwan2011 article “Forgotten: Dowry A socially endorsed form of violence in Pakistan”
ShaziaGulzar, Muhammad Nauman, FarzanYahya, Shagafat Ali and Mariam Yaqoob “article- Dowry system in Pakistan”. The Pakistani Spectator-a candid blog July 25th 2013 “Dowry system in Pakistan”. Ramsha Maheen Karachi May 2012 “The curse of dowry”. Good and Hatt, 1952. Methods of Social Research. New York: Mec Graw -Hill, Book Company Ltd. Survey Dowry is a symbol of injustice Gender: Male/Female Age: Program: Tick option in front of each question. Questions Yes No 1. Is dowry system a serious issue in our society? 2. Do you think population and poverty are the main causes of dowry system?
Is dowry a necessity of our society? 4. Are you in favor of taking and giving dowry? 5. Do you think government should legally ban dowry? 6. Do you think because of dowry, parents don’t give birth to a girl? 7. After giving dowry to the bridegroom family do you think the bride is safe and protected all her life? 8. Do you think that love marriages can overcome the dowry? 9. Parents of the bride lose their self-respect under the burden of dowry system do you think its justice or injustice? Justice Injustice 10. Do you yourself prefer marriage in the condition or the compulsion of dowry?

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