This section gives information about dowry and also creates awareness on dowry
Dowry is a social evil in the society, that has caused unimaginable tortures and crimes towards women. The evil has taken lives of women from all stratas of society - be it poor, middle class or the rich. However it is the poor who succumb and fall prey to it, more due to their lack of awareness and education.
It is because of the dowry system, that daughters are not valued as much as the sons. In the society, many a times it has been seen that they are seen as a liability and are often subjected to subjugation and are given second hand treatment may it be in education or other amenities.
Today the government has come up with many laws and reforms, not only to eradicate the dowry system, but also to uplift the status of the girl child by bringing in many schemes.
It is now for the society at large to become aware and understand the situation. It up to all of us to take active steps in bringing about the necessary change and stop either giving or taking dowry. We must all know that we should start valuing our daughters first, so that others know their value once they grow up.
Important steps to eradicate dowry
- Educate your daughters
- Encourage them to have their own career
- Teach them to be independent and responsible
- Treat them (your daughter) equally without any discrimination
- Do not encourage the practice of giving or taking dowry
Effect on the public of the Dowry Prohibition initiative
- The parents don't lay enough emphasis on educating their daughters, as they feel that husbands will support them latter.
- The Poorer sections of society who send their daughters out to work and earn some money, to help them save up for her dowry.
- The regular middle and upper class backgrounds do send their daughters to school, but don't emphasize career options.
- The very wealthy parents who happily support their daughters until they get married and their ability to fork out a high dowry
Hence education and independence is one powerful and valuable gift that you can give your daughter. This will in turn help her to be financially sound and be a contributing member of the family, giving her respect and right status in the family. So Providing your daughter with a solid education, and encouraging her to pursue a career of her choice is the best dowry any parent can ever give their daughter.
Source : India parenting website
Law on Dowry in India
The Dowry Prohibition Act 1961 deals with dowry in India.
What is this law about?
- This Act prohibits the practice of giving or taking of dowry by either parties to a marriage. This law also punishes demanding and advertising dowry.
- It imposes a duty on parties getting married to make a list of gifts and presents.
- If dowry has been exchanged at a wedding anyway, it imposes a duty on the person who is given dowry to give it to the bride.
Note that the more serious crimes in relation to dowry such as dowry death and cruelty from dowry demands are punishable under the general law on crimes – the Indian Penal Code, 1860.
Who can be punished under this Act?
- Any person who gives or takes dowry (minimum punishment of five years);
- Any person who helps someone to give or take dowry;
- Anyone who in any way demands dowry;
- Anyone who advertises and offers to give money or property in return for marrying his son, daughter or relative;
- Anyone who publishes these advertisements;
- Anyone who does not hand over the dowry to the bride within the specified time.