A dowry is a transfer of parental property, gifts or money at the marriage of a daughter. Dowry contrasts with the related concepts of bride price and dower which in Islamic culture also known as Mahr. Dowry was a very common institution in Roman times, and it began out of a desire to get the bride’s family to contribute a share of the costs involved in setting up a new household. Though dowry exists in many parts of the world like South Asia, Middle East and North America, it is most common in the Indian Subcontinent. Dowry is a serious social problem in Bangladesh. Between 0.6 and 2.8 brides per year per 100,000 women are reported to die because of dowry-related violence. Here Dowry demonstrates an ongoing commitment to the norms of masculine provision and protection. Now dowry is demanded by the groom’s parents and marriage takes place only if a certain amount of dowry is paid by the bride’s parents. Today dowry is given as compensation to the groom’s parents for the amount they have spent in educating and upbringing their son. It is also considered a status symbol, especially in the high class, and generally the items of dowry are flaunted and hyped by both parties. Not only the illiterate but also highly educated grooms also demand dowry. Though Bangladesh govt. has strict laws against dowry, but law enforcing agencies seems reluctant in enforcing the law. Policy makers should ensure that the laws are being used appropriately and thus this heinous practice will hopefully deteriorate eventually.
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