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Dowry has for long been proclaimed a social evil. The one which deteriorates the social status of a woman and also places her under brackets of in-law’s commands. Dowry, however, began as a practice of delivering gifts to in-laws. But lately, this practice took a greedy slide to take its current shape.

Dowry has been seen through various prisms, but, I understand it as a means to economically disempowers a woman, especially, one’s daughter or sister by giving dowry and throwing her out of the Inheritance phenomenon. Dowry has been a part of the excuse-discourse whenever a daughter demanded her share of the parental inheritance. People generally code dowry as daughter’s share.

A probable reason for it might be, our society’s patriarchal inheritance order that treats men as the head of the family not believing in powersharing phenomenon. The thought is so deep-rooted that even after laws protecting women’s inheritance in her father’s property girls often have a shaken conscience while asking for her rights. She might also be viewed as a money-minded vampire insensitive towards her brother.

After the Hindu Succession Act, amended in 2008, a married daughter has equal rights to Father’s ancestral property.

But believe me, giving property rights are even better than giving away dowry.

  • Dowry disempowers women but inheritance empowers, both socially and economically.
  • Women are granted more economic liberty in case property rights are met than dowry where a major access of monetary units remains with either husband or in-laws.
  • Also, dowry doesn’t have careful look at the economic condition of the girl’s family and is demanded according to the rate card of the market. But inheritance simply means giving an equal share of the available ancestral property.
  • Dowry also pushes the risk of other social evils such as female foeticide, bride burning and unequal opportunity for the girl child. However, inheritance makes her financially independent in a man and money’s world.
  • Also for a circumstance where the girl is widowed or divorced dowry can’t help her a penny but the inheritance right shall save her head.

Girls should be free to bring parental inheritance into their discourses and not feel guilty as they are legal heirs and should kick out social evils like dowry. Boys should also stand firm on not taking or giving dowry and should be pleased to assist their sister or wife to get their rights.

As Justin Trudeau says,

“Raise boys as feminists to change ‘culture of sexism’.”

This post first appeared on A Learners Word, please read the originial post: here

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