Stop the Dowry System!

By: Courtney Chen

If I had a chance to change a Hinduism social practice, I choose to stop Dowry System.

What is the "Dowry System"?

The Dowry System was created to show love from father to daughter by providing the daughter with a form of fortune or financial aid for the bride to symbolize independence from her new husband. However, the system has been abused into much more. Now, some grooms and their families demand a dowry to be paid from the bride's family's to theirs, and the once-kind father-daughter gesture has become a pre-requisite to grooms in the Hindu religion.

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Originated from showing the love of a father to his daughter and helping the daughter remain independent of her husband, the Dowry system has become nothing related to the its original purposes. The fact that a bride is burdened with a financial obligation to her husband-to-be and even in-laws, the fact that many who spent their life-time savings to meet the demand, and the fact that some brides can lose their lives simply because their new in-laws want a greater fortune and wealth make this extreme practice one of the most obvious inequalities between man and woman, husband and wife.
Marriage is a commitment between a man and a woman who love each other and want to spend their life together. The Dowry System completely ignores the reality that although humans are equal, the wealth and the economic standings of every family can be very different. It is sad to see that a bride must arrive marriage with a hefty dowry on her.

Let's Find a Solution!

I propose the solution of simply letting the matter be a mutual choice between the bride and groom. This should not be required. Another good resolution would be the exchange of small gifts between both families. A practical price range would be decided prior to the gift exchange, and both families would benefit from it.