A country’s rate of development is also shown by how educated and literate people are. An educated individual knows what’s right and what’s wrong. They know what to practice and what not to. Similarly, an uneducated individual doesn’t know much about society. Some people are also conservative-minded and this is one of the major problems in the context of Nepal. Such a conservative mindset is due to their blind faith in religion and completely unreasonable facts. Although slowly being erased in urban areas, problems such as discrimination on the basis of caste, gender, skin, and color are very common in rural areas of Nepal. They give rise to social evils that hamper the lives of many people. Out of such social evils, the Dowry system is one of them.
The Dowry system was prevalent in many parts of Nepal but has slowly stopped in some regions. Dowry system is generally seen in the Terai regions of Nepal with some cases even in the Hill region. In a marriage, dowry is a process of giving some amount of wealth to the bride groom’s family by the bride’s family. In other words, a dowry is the transfer of parental property or wealth upon the marriage of a daughter by their family. Although it started fairly innocent and worked as a token of love and support, the situation has gotten out of hand. From an innocent gift, Dowry has become a compulsion to many groom families and the choice of what to ask for is up to them too. It no more is a token of love but a requirement to fulfill the greedy demands. If such conditions are not fulfilled, it may even lead to the death of the bride.
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Dowry has been given such priority that it is kept above marriage for love and starting a family and the groom’s family asking for properties. Properties may include cash, electronics, vehicles, houses, or even lands. If the conditions of Dowry aren’t fulfilled then the life of the bride becomes very hard. They are tortured and mentally bullied having not given the dowry. Nothing breaks a parent’s heart than to watch their own daughter being tortured due to dowry requirements not being fulfilled. In some cases, brides have even committed suicide to avoid such torture or give misery to their parents.
People have gone bankrupt trying to fulfill the conditions, faced other mental problems, and aren’t happy at all. The Dowry system is a totally unwanted evil in our society. A person will give their best as a token of love but not expect anything in return. There’s no greater gift and sacrifice from the bride’s family to give their own daughter to someone else. It should be a great pride and joy to be married but the prevalence of the Dowry system makes females seem like tools and unwanted. The groom’s family would simply search for another bride who can fulfill their dowry requests.
This is why reforms are needed in Nepal’s system. Not only Nepal, dowry systems are prevalent even in abroad countries such as India or other South Asian countries. The Dowry system will just lead to more discrimination and violence in the name of wealth. Women’s rights are being seriously violated, parents of the bride’s family have to suffer huge losses making girls unwanted in society. But they don’t realize the importance of women.
This is why women’s empowerment is necessary. It can only be established by awareness programs, rallies, enforcing strict rules and regulations against women violence, and banning dowry altogether. If found, the groom’s family should compensate the bride’s family or even serve a prison sentence. Enforcing strict rules seems to be an effective way as people fear their loss of respect and prestige. Money is given emphasis over the emotional bonding in today’s world. This is totally due to the greed people have and there is nothing greater than the emotional belonging of a person. People have to realize that and look through the shoes of the parents who have to pay a heavy dowry to just bid their daughters farewell.
Eradication of the Dowry system is a necessity to protect women, their parents and get rid of conservative people’s mindsets. Greediness also plays a role in such decisions but people need to know that only if we eradicate discrimination and other gender barriers we can come together and contribute to the development of society.
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