Hunza News

Dowry: A Cancer to our Society!!!

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[author image=”” ]Noreen Akhtar,Hailing from Karimabad, Hunza, Student of Asian University for Women. She is an under- graduate student doing her minors in Mathematics and her major will be Environmental Sciences.[/author]

Some one has spoken my heart out by quoting that ‘Dowry is a cancer to the society.Eradicate this cultural cancer. Be bold and say no to dowry.” One of the weaknesses among many in our society is that people admire others a lot in terms of money and status; it doesn’t matter if that status is fake. There are still some people who are so much in to gaining this status among others that they can do anything for this.
If I specifically talk about Hunza (because I don’t know much about other regions of Gilgit-Baltistan), then the system of dowry is one among such examples which enforces our people especially our parents to even sell their property to give dowry to their daughters. This article is based more upon my own such bitter experiences.
The first cause because of which this stupid trend is still revolving in our society is that our people are much more conscious about their status among others. The common pattern of thinking is that ‘what will our neighbors say if our daughter will leave our home with less dowry?, What will be the impression on the family of groom? My relatives spend this much money on their daughter so why can’t I? and much more….
They are not even trying to think about the reality that their daughter becomes more like a showcase with full of jewelries and other stuff. Her value increases not because she herself has a personality but because she has dowry. I have heard about such parents who though don’t have money to educate their kids but make money by even selling their property so that they could follow this custom like others.
The second cause is that this system of dowry is not only dominant among parents but among some boys and girls too. Some girls are so much obsessed with it that the more they see utensils, craft work and other things to embellish their new home, the more they become satisfied. Moreover, there are some guys out there who are happy with this norm because they get their wife with such a huge property.
Where is the reality in our lives? Where does logic lie? NOWHERE!!!
Let’s talk about why our people think in this way and what we can do to eradicate this norm.
The first cause is that parents become worried about their daughters that without dowry they won’t be accepted by the groom’s family. This is because there are some family’s out there who do the same. They value dowry more than a girl. The root cause of this problem is that parents usually don’t let their children to make their own future while polishing their own aptitudes. It’s not about the education only. It can be any other field as well. If a girl is not educated then she becomes a burden on her family and parents become obsessed with her dowry because they think that she is not educated so dowry can at least save her future.
Some parents need to keep their children independent so that they could join the field of their own interest and have an independent future. If a girl will have a stable life, she won’t be dependent on her husband and same is with men. Their independent future will not let them to marry a dependent girl or a dependent boy which in return results in to dowry system.
Secondly, though this has been implemented somehow but it wasn’t successful. Councils issued letters and alarmed people that they will take fines from the ones who will spend more on their daughter’s marriage. Why don’t we think that the ones who can spend more on this marriage can pay fine also but won’t stop following this custom. Some people say that if one can spend money then it’s fine with that family. But, it’s actually not fine because others who can’t afford try to do the same. We can have two options. These laws should be equal for all (poor and rich) and rich family’s should stop thinking that if they can spend then they should spend whatever amount they can.Secondly, people should stop admiring others in this case and also not torture others that they couldn’t even give dowry to their daughters.
Thirdly, both girls and guys should have this sense that they can contribute equally to buy the items of their need and they can start saving money after they are engaged. Or, if one of them is not that much able to contribute then still they can manage with one’s contribution. It also happens that both can’t contribute on the spot so of course their parents and family members are there to help them but they shouldn’t show this contribution in the shape of dowry.
What we need to concentrate on is that education is the best way parents can ever help their kids to develop an independent and peaceful life. Moreover, respecting the talent of children and let them boost it is another gift.
I request all the parents, girls and boys to please don’t ever think that girls are valuable because of dowry. Let’s think that we all can be independent and have a better future ahead. Let’s reject such useless and cancerous customs from our society which takes away value of a girl and which enforces our parents to think that their daughters are dependent. Guys! Accept girls without any condition of dowry and Girls! Be bold to not give dowry and help your parents to understand the reality (y).

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