Womens Perception Towards The Dowry System Sociology Essay


Dowry has been an integral aspect of traditional arranged Hindu marriage. Over hundreds of years the dowry term has evolved from the ceremonial and voluntary gift giving to the bride’s family in a form of monetary extortion demanded by the groom’s family. Traditionally dowry means denoted gifts of kanyadana, such as precious items like expensive cloths given it both the bride and groom’s family during the time of marriage. The practice was derived from the high cultural and spiritual merit accorded to gift givers and gift giving in the Vedas and other Hindu literature. Dowry was originally used as a means to both sanctify material wealth and enhance social status in marriage. In modern sense dowry has reflect a change in the system such that the presentation of gifts no longer remains a voluntary process. In Indo pak bride’s families are often compelled to provide dowry in the name of gift giving and evaluated in terms of total cash value. Groom’s family has a high socioeconomic status. The modern practice of dowry is characterized by a shift from voluntary to forced gift giving as well as the primary role of the groom’s family in determining the demand for gifts from the bride’s family. It is understood that the term dowry is a broad reference to the totality of assets transferred from the bride’s family to the groom’s at the time of a marriage. The transfers of dowry are characterizing by three steps: which is First the property transfer to the bride, Second, there are those gifts that continue to be part of the ceremonial aspect of the marriage and symbolize union between the two families. These would be matched by reciprocal gifts of equal value from the groom’s family. Thirdly there are those assets that can be called “marriage payments” An economically it is this final aspect that constitutes the actual significant economic cost of dowry for a bride’s family, and is perhaps the most costly among the three aspects of the dowry

Dowry violence is depended on culturally accepted, legally sanctioned and media generated form of violence and recognized the most gender issue by development activists in Pakistan. Pakistani Muslims have embraced the dowry system as a cultural practice and tradition due to the Indianization of Islam in the subcontinent..Despite 59 years of independence till there is no any indication for discarding of this system. Dowry is no longer a set of gift items meant for contributing towards starting of the practical life of a newly married couple. Lavish and loud marriages, designers’ items studded bride, bridegroom and other family members, many course meals etc. all stand for the dowry system .In a country where a vast majority of population lives below poverty line and is devoid of basic human needs like water, sanitation, electricity. Health and education the growing trend of such Exhibiting Marriages is adding to the miseries of the not so privileged and creation of the lesser God. Dowry System causes a number of psychological and emotional traumas and ethical challenges by causing delayed marriages, marriage with elderly person, incept person, taunts, threats, and torture of greedy in-laws and husband, and financial crises. Dowry and expenses on marriage are frequently used explanations for the denial of right of inheritance to women. There are certain tribes and clans in the province of NWFP and Baluchistan where boys have to pay for the bride. If they cannot pay the right Bridal Price they cannot get married. This practice itself qualifies as a separate research entity. On the other hand the Bride who is sold is treated as a property and is entitled to be sold further. An interesting and innovative response to the question of limiting marriage expenses that has come from some welfare wings of certain Religious groups and public departments and welfare oriented Pakistan NGOs in the recent years is the phenomenon of Mass Weddings. While there are no doubts in the good faith of the planners and implementers of such weddings. This solution besides carrying transparency issues like instance how the eligible couples are selected, what is the actual expense and compromises on the individual self esteem are in fact endorsing the custom and institution of dowry (Rakhshinda, 2006)

Importance of this study is explained that a large number of women faced many dowry problems including that psychological, social and economical factors common in our society. This is a serious issue in our Pakistan. I am going to explore a sociological study of women perception towards dowry in urban areas of Tehsil D.G.Khan.

Keeping in mind these points the present study will be conducted to investigate the following objectives.

To check the role of dowry in the success or failure of marital adjustment.

To study the perception of women towards the dowry practices.

To give possible suggestions for the solution of this problem.


Bloch and Rao (2001) Estimated that the domestic violence can be use from spouses to their family because the absent of dowry and a case study was conducted in three villages of India which results showed that women who payed smaller dowries suffer an increased risk of marital violence, as do women who come from richer families.

Maristella and Aloysius(2002) Showed that when married daughters leave their parents home and their married brothers do not selfless parents provide dowries for daughters and gifts for sons in order to meet free ride problem between their married sons and daughters. The study has assessment on the form of the dowry contract, the barring of daughters from bequests, and the turn down of dowries in earlier dowry giving societies. These assessment are regular with historical verification from earliest Near Eastern civilizations, ancient Greece, Roman and Byzantine empire, western Europe from 500 to 1500 AD, the Jews from remains to the Middle Ages, Arab Islam from 650 AD to modern times, China, Japan, medieval and regeneration Tuscany, early-modern England, modern Brazil, North America, and existing India

Terilt (2002) argued that marriages in conventional societies often include a transfer between the concerned parties. In a few societies, a transfer is complete from the groom to the family of bride (a brideprice), even as in others it goes from the bride to the groom (dowry). He investigate whether differences in the form of marriages that are permitted can description for these explanation He fine the symmetry bride value is positive under polygyny and harmful under monogamy. The form has a number of other interesting implications that are in order with what is san in the data. Pologyny leads to a superior difference in age among husbands and wives, a younger marriage age for women, and higher infertility

Siwan (2003) concluded that in difference to most dowry-leaning societies in which expenses have decline with reconstruction those in India have undergone important increase over the last five decades. He explains the difference between these two experiences by focus on the part played by caste. The notional model contrast caste- and non-caste-base societies: in the former, there exist an inborn section to status (caste) that is self-determining of wealth, and in the latter, wealth is the primary determinant of caste. Modernization is understood to occupy two components: growing average wealth and increasing wealth diffusion within caste groups. He advance showed that, in caste based societies, the increases in wealth diffusion that come with modernization necessarily lead to increases in dowry expenses whereas in non-caste-based societies, increased diffusion has no real outcome on dowry expenses and increasing average wealth causes the expenses to turn down.

Luciana et al (2004) estimated that in current years, dowry levels have rise to earlier unforeseen level. Along with Hindus in north India dowry can sum to three or four times a family’s total resources. Amid Muslims in Bangladesh and Hindus in south India, dowry has become everyday while the practice did not survive a generation ago. The organization of dowry has been generally criticized socially malign, and legally banned. Some modern economic writings suggest that dowry functions as a bequest or pre-mortem tradition imply it persist because it is “good for the bride.” Using panel data from an adult study in rural Bangladesh, he explores the involvement between dowry and the incidence of domestic violence to test the bequest theory of dowry. They found that, opposing to the calculation of the bequest theory, married females who unpaid dowry at marriage have a higher likelihood of treatment domestic violence compare to those who did not. In accumulation the relation between dowry and violence is highly level-definite respondents who paid small dowries description much higher levels of violence than those who paid large dowries. In fact, paying no dowry is just as protective, if not more so, in conditions of prevent violence as the main dowry expenses

Anderson (2004) concluded that laws restricting dowries have existed in most societies where these transfers have occurred. Central to the policy debates is the actual role of the dowry payment. It is typically believed that intervention is required when dowries serve as a ‘price’ for marriage (“groom price”), but not when dowries are means of endowing daughters with some financial security (“pre-mortem inheritance”). He developed a simple matching model of marriage which integrates the two different roles for dowry. It is demonstrated that when modernization occurs, dowry payments can evolve from a pre-mortem inheritance into a groom price. The model generated implications which empirically distinguish the two different motives. The predictions are tested using recent data from Pakistan, where dowry legislation is currently an active policy issue. This investigation concludes that, in urban areas the payment is serving as a groom price, instead of the traditional pre-mortem inheritance to women. However, his study showed that this is not such a large concern in rural areas.

Geirbo and Imam (2006) concluded to a lot of what is written concerning dowry focus on the dangerous aspect He argue that in consult purpose dowry as a social problem, we require to identify more regarding why people maintain the observe It give an indication of the communication associated to bridal and divorce previous to it explore the motivation people have for mean and delightful dowry. In the ending, it is discuss how this prudence meets the rationality of the government and NGOs in the local interpretation and use of legislation and in the use of microcredit. Protection is organization to be the main inspiration for charitable dowry. A rewarded dowry gives a expectation that the daughter will be treat well in her in-law’s house. Because dowry is associated to Mohr, it also gives a protection in casing of divorce. However, a voluntary dowry does not give women entitlements towards her in-laws, only a expect that they will luxury her well. As well women’s privilege to Mohr depends on compensation of dowry as well as her presentation as a wife. Men, on the other hand, are supposed as have unquestioned prerogative to dowry. This disproportion is see as living being connected to a perception of women as organism helpless to substantial and social threat in addition to instead of a threat to their family and district In termination it is optional that as a substitute of target dowry straight support labors would increase from target the cause in front the motivation sympathetic and attractive dowry. Plummeting the hazard factor that craft married condition and dowry critical for women is a method to conflict the observe. One method to do this is by implement occupation programmers for adult girlsat. A distance from this, the current femininity beliefs has to be challenge methodically along with together girls and boys from an early on age. The monograph is base on qualitative investigate in Domar under Nilphamari constituency in Bangladesh.

Babur (2007) concluded that dowry system is another form of social and traditional practice whose consequences result direct violence of women. There is hardly any family in Pakistan un which this dowry system is not followed. Not a signal day passes without dowry death and torture women. News papers are full of stories torture of women who bring in sufficient dowry. Unable to bear the torched, some brides are forced to commit suicide and some are burnt alive under the cover of stove deaths, which is also called bride burning in which women are burn alive after being covered with kerosene oil.

Afzal (2007) estimated an equation explaining the determinates of dowry they concentrate on a very ordinary socio economic problem for subcontinent, the problem of dowry from a social planer’s individual, whom requirements to reduce generally dowry transport they regard as the consequence of change in a many applicable parameter like husband height, wife height wet land dry land, year of marriage and years of education, for woman and men on these conclusion. According to the assorted studies the dowry occurrence is survive greatly in rural subcontinent, at the same time investigate associated to the organization is very unusual. The aspire of his study to estimation an equation amplification the determinant of dowry. some explanation of dowry is renowned using a simple imaginary structure and the calculation of this form are experienced Using the data provide them for this project is tested and reliable so that they will be capable to sketch their win testable associations and determinant of dowry. His study recommended although there are religious and cultural difference, the organization of dowry in Pakistan appear to be for the same cause as in India. A abstract structure was inhabited that was inclusive of the essential variable by test through the several regression analyses and the investigational conclusion show the sovereign variable use to test have an contact on dowry by apply several deterioration pace astute method.

Arunachalamy and Loganz (2008) concluded that dowries have been model as pre-mortem bequest to daughters or as groom-prices rewarded to in-laws. These two course of models give way equally limited prediction but observed tests of these prediction have been assorted We draw from past evidence that suggest a empirically marriage promote, where some households use dowries as a bequest and others use dowries as a cost. The challenging theory of dowry allow us to arrangement an exogenous key failure that places households in the price or bequest management The experimental approach allow for several check on the strength of management obligation Using demonstration marriage data from rural Bangladesh, we verification of het- erogeneity in dowry motive that bequest dowries have decline in frequency and quantity above time; and that bequest familes are improved o_ compare to cost households on a assortment of benefit procedures.

Attila et al (2008) suggested that accessible notional and experiential research on dowries has complexity secretarial for the large changes in dowry level experimental in many countries over the history many decades. To clarify clear trend in dowry levels in Bangladesh, they represent consideration to an institutional feature of marriage contract earlier unseen in the journalism the mehr or customary Islamic bride price, which function as a prenuptial accord in Bangladesh payable to the non-payment carry out of being only allocated winning divorce. We increase a reproduction of marriage contract in which mehr serve as a obstruction to husbands exit marriage and a constituent of dowry is an quantity that present compensate the groom for the cost of mehr. The contracts are welfare-improving because they induce husbands to internalize the social costs of divorce for women. We explore how mehr and dowry answer to exogenous changes in the costs of polygamy and divorce, and explicate that our model gives a different set of predictions than customary models of dowry expenses without contractible mehr. To assessment the model’s prediction empirically dictions, we use data composed on marriage contract among 1956 and 2004 from a large family analysis from the Northwest region of the country, and make use of input changes in Muslim Family Law in 1961 and 1974. They show that minor changes in dowry levels took place in particular after the authorized changes, consequent to consecutive changes in levels of mehr.

Sarwat and Imtiaz (2009) concluded that the center of this study is to approximate an equation elucidation the determinants of dowry. In this paper, they concentrate on a very ordinary socio-economic problem for sub-continent, the difficulty of dowry. From a social planner’s viewpoint, who wants to decrease overall dowry transfers, they reflect on the cause of change in a few important parameter like husband height, wife height, wet land, dry land, years of marriage and years of education for women & men on these decision According to the a variety of studies the dowry incident is survive heavily in rural sub-continent, at the same time research connected to this system is very unusual The aspire of this study is to approximation an equation explanation the determinants of dowry. some interpretation for dowry are illustrious using a simple imaginary structure and the prediction of this model are experienced Using the data provide us for this assignment is tested and consistent so that we will be able to describe our own testable relationships and determinants of dowry. The data will be use in the subsequent sections for additional investigation by estimate the determinants of dowry using several degeneration investigation The study propose that although there are religious and cultural difference the system of dowry in Pakistan appear to be for the similar reason as in India. A imaginary structure was residential that was comprehensive of all the necessary variables by testing during the several regression investigation and the trial findings shows the self-sufficient variable used to test have an contact on dowry by apply several degeneration step-wise technique.

Laura et al (2009) concluded that important amount of wealth have been exchange as part of marriage settlement all through history. Even though a variety of model have been future for interpret these practices, their improvement over time has not been investigate scientifically. In this study they use a Bayesian MCMC phylogenetic proportional advance to modernize the advancement of two forms of wealth transfer at marriage, dowry and bride wealth, for 51 Indo-European cultural groups. Consequences point out that dowry is additional likely to have been the inherited observe and that a lowest of four changes to bride wealth is essential to clarify the experiential allocation of the two state across the cultural groups.

Review of literature explained that a large number of women faced many dowry problems including that psychological, social and economical factors common in our society. This is more serious issue in our Pakistan. I am going to explore a sociological study of women perception towards dowry in urban areas of Tehsil D.G.Khan.


The main objective of methodology is to explain various tools and techniques apply for data collection, data analysis and interpretation of data related to research problem. According to Nachmias and Nachmias (1992) “the scientific methodology is a system of explicit rules and procedures upon which research is based and against which the claims for knowledge are evaluate”. The aim of present study will be explore the causes of dowry such as social, economical, political, legal, and their impact of dowry at marriage in our society.

The universe of study will be Tehsil D.G.Khan (District Dera Ghazi Khan). A sample of one hundred and fifty females will be selected from five urban councils through simple random sampling technique. Respondents will be interviewed by using a well structured questionnaire. Ten respondents will be pre-tested to check and examine the workability of questionnaire. Data will be analyzed through appropriate statistical technique by using the statistical package for social sciences (SPSS), and obtained information will be present in form of M.Sc thesis.


Attila. A, Erica. F, Maximo. T.2008. Muslim family law, prenuptial agreements and the

Emergence of dowry in Bangladesh, Harvard University.

Arunachalamy.R, Loganz. T.2008.On the Heterogeneity of Dowry Motives. Department of

Economics, The Ohio State University, and National Bureau of Economic Research.

Anderson.S.2004. Should dowries be banned? Department of Economics, University of British


Bloch .F, Rao.V.2001. Terror as a Bargaining Instrument: A Case-Study of Dowry Violence in

Rural India.1-25

Geirbo. H, Imam. N.2006. the Motivations Behind Giving and Taking Dowry. BRAC,Research and evaluation division Dhaka. Bangladesh. Page 1-36

Luciana. S, Sajada. A, Lopita. H, Kobita. C.2004. Does Dowry Improve Life for Brides?

A Test of the Bequest Theory of Dowry in Rural Bangladesh. Population council No.195.

Laura.F, Clare. H, Ruth .M.2009. From bridewealth to dowry? A bayesian estimation of

ancestral states of marriage transfers in indoeuropean groups. Department of anthropology, university college london.1-34

Maristella. B, Aloysius. S. 2002. Why Dowries? Department of Economics, University of

Toronto. Contributed papers 0200,Economic society.Page 1-47

Maristella. B, Aloysius .S.2002. Marriage Markets and Intergenerational Transfers in

Comparative Perspective (Why Dowries?)

Nachmias, C.F. and D. Nachmias. 1992. “Research methods in the social sciences”.

Published by Edwards Arnold. A division of Hodder and Stoughton.London

Rakhshinda, P.2006. Dowry: The most frequently forgotten form of gender violence in Pakistan.

Gender based Violence.

Sarwat ,A, Imtiaz, S; 2009. To estimate an equation explaining the determinants of dowry. Pakistan development review, vol.xii,No.1,48-61.

Siwan. A.2003. Why Dowry Payments Declined with Modernization in Europe but Are Rising in

India. [Journal of Political Economy, 2003, vol. 111, no. 2]. The University of Chicago.

Tonushree, J. 2001. The Economics of Dowry: Causes and Effects of an Indian Tradition, copyright 2001 UAUJE. Htt://www.eco.ilstu/UAUJE.Research monograph series No.28.

Nachmias, C.F. and D. Nachmias. 1992. “Research methods in the social sciences”.

Published by Edwards Arnold. A division of Hodder and Stoughton.London

Student: Asia Rafique

Supervisory Committee:

Mr. Muhammad Ali Tarar Chairman

Miss. Sumaira Bano Member

Mr. Muhammad Ali Member



Head of Section,

Social Sciences and Rural Development

College of Agriculture, Dera Ghazi Khan

Security Committee,

____________________ _____________________

Prof.Dr. Shafqat Nawaz Dr. Muhammad Mudassar Maqbool

____________________ ______________________

Mr. Muhammad Shahid Nisar Dr. Fida Hussain



College of Agriculture, Dera Ghazi Khan



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