There are many evils in our society that have been continuing from ancient times under the name of tradition. It is a well-accepted truth that the dowry system practice in Indian society on the basis of custom. It’s a great evil in our society and the foremost reason for female foeticide in our country. Mother Concern NGO for Women will discuss all this pernicious system and many other concerning factors.
In India, arranging a marriage is no less than a business, as girls force into a system of marriage against their will. As a result, it is similar to a barter system where boys and girls barter on the basis of marriage. As parents, they want her to have a comfortable life, but instead, she falls into the dowry system and faces consequences. Even if the groom’s family does not demand dowry at the time of marriage. However, after marriage, family members, particularly her in-laws, frequently harass her.
Mother Concern NGO for Women has come into contact with many women who are facing this situation. We have even come to know that many have tried to take drastic steps to end their lives. India has a patriarchal society that always faces challenges and is not able to provide a safe environment for girls.
Rape, domestic violence, female foeticide, and child marriages are some of the major problems faced in society. Despite living in the 21st century, endless efforts to stop these harmful activities. Unfortunately, many incidents of heinous crime occur. Even after the government makes unending efforts to eradicate them, society’s rigidity does not change.
NGO for Women: Dowry an Evil to Social Norms
Marriage is regarded as a puro ritual as well as a religious union of souls in Indian society. Dowry practice and malfeasance, which is both legally and morally wrong, have, however, tainted its Holy Communion value. In the last few decades, India has seen the worst situations and circumstances in terms of failings to pay a dowry to the other party, likely to result in marital rape, victim suicides, harassment, and so on, regardless of caste, race, or religion. To put it simply, dowry is the gift of valuable items, wealth, property, and gifts to the groom and his family, as well as the bride, at the time of marriage as safety and forethought.
Previously, this viewed as a symbol and show of support of love, care, and safety granted by the father of the bride as her portion of wealth. Even so, as time passed, the concept, creation, and point of view about dowry shifted, becoming impure and a soul aspect for a female.
The practice, which once thought to be a gesture of love to connect souls and their immediate parents together along with adoration, care, and support, has now become a terrible, utterly terrifying, and horrible disaster for the entire nation and is now enrolled in one of country’s major and concerning forms of violence against women. NGO for Women is very much concerned about the women situation in India in regard to dowry.
NGO for Women Sharing Dowry Stats
The number of crimes registered fell 7.6 percent year on year in 2021. As a result, the rate of crime per lakhs people dropped from 487.8 in 2020 to 445.9 in 2021. Dowry deaths have decreased in the last five years, according to data from the National Crime Records Bureau.
During 2012-16, the average annual number of murders was 32,839, but this fell to 29,010 during 2017-21. Correspondingly, the estimated yearly dowry death rate decreased from 8,005 to 7,093 during the same time period. It is worth noting that Uttar Pradesh and Bihar had the highest number of dowry deaths in India in 2021. Together, UP (2,222 deaths) and Bihar (1,000 deaths) accounted for nearly half (48%) of all dowry deaths across the country.
Causes of Dowry
1. Social Structure
The dowry system is primarily a symptom of Indian society’s patriarchal nature, in which men are significantly better to women in terms of physical and mental capabilities. In the context of such socioeconomic system, women are frequently regarded as second-class citizens, fit only for domesticable roles.
Such perceptions are frequently associated with them being treated as a financial burden, initially by the dad and then by the husband. This feeling is exacerbated by the dowry system, which feeds the belief that a girl child is a prospective drain on family finances.
2. Religious Structure
Religious restrictions that society places on marriage, particularly groom appropriateness, have contributed to the dowry problem. These restrictions do not allow for inter-religious marriages and even marriages between religious sects and a suitable groom must be discovered with the same religious background. These constraints reduce the number of suitable matches. Boys of marrying age with highly desired credentials become a prize, which inspires the practice of the winning price catching the catch.
Another reason for the dowry system’s prevalence is a lack of formal education. A large number of women are purposefully out of schools, either due to superstitious beliefs or the belief that educating girls will diminish their ability to be housewives.
4. Women’s Social Status
The inferior social position of women in Indian society so deeply ingrain n the national psyche. not just the family but also the women themselves acknowledge treating them as just commodities prices without question. When marriage seen as the pinnacle of female achievement, evil practices such as dowry become deeply embedded in society.
Effect of Dowry
1. Injustice towards Women
Girls frequently marginalize in educational settings where family boys prefer. They push into house tasks from a young age. They are subject to a slew of restrictions, including force to stay indoors. Child marriages continue to be practiced because age is a measure of purity. It base on the belief that younger girls mold into domestic roles than older girls. Dowry amounts increase with the age of the girl, fueling the practice.
2. Gender Imbalance
As the number of cases of violence against women and dowry-related deaths rises, so does the malice of sex selection before birth, female foeticide, and infanticide, resulting in a drop in the sex ratio and a gender imbalance with dire consequences for the future. India’s sex ratio at birth and child sex ratio remained far below ideal levels. owing in large part to a choice for baby boys in so many parts of the country. In 2015 and 2016, Haryana had a sex ratio of 833 females for every 1,000 males. States such as Uttarakhand fare even worse in terms of sex ratio.
Laws in India for Dowry
The Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961
- Dowry prohibits in India under this Act. The Act also makes it a crime in India to take or give dowry.
- Negotiating for a lower dowry from the groom’s side when the bride’s side is unable to meet the actual demand/real deal’ and forcing the bride’s family to meet demands as compensation for marrying their daughter after the wedding are all illegal.
- The penalty for violating the anti-dowry law is up to 5 years in prison and a fine of Rs. 15,000 or the value of the dowry given, whichever is greater.
The Indian Penal Code Sections
- In India, Section 304B addresses dowry deaths. It states that dowry death occurs if a woman dies within seven years of marriage from any burns or bodily injury.
- if it discloses that prior to her marriage, she subjects to abuse or harassment by her husband or any other relative of the husband in connection with the demand for dowry.
- Section 498A addresses cruelty. It states that if a husband or any of his relatives creates physical or mental harm to a woman, they are punishable under this section.
Section 113B of the Indian Evidence Act, 1872
The dower death assumption if a woman dies in connection with a dowry demand and demonstrated that any person subjected her to abuse or cruelty shortly before her death, the court will presume that such an individual is accountable for her death.
As an NGO for Women, we see them as the backbone of the country. We must all together stand for them and help them to take a stand for themselves.