Thursday, May 4, 2017

The use of dowry

A dowry in its simplest form and structure, is the ‘property that a woman bring to her husband at the time of marriage. In antiquity, dowry in the form of money, goods, livestock or land represented the bride’s family’s contribution towards the establishment of the new household.

The dowry apparently originated in the giving of a marriage gift by the family of the bridegroom to the bride and the bestowal of money upon the bride by her parents.
The dowry played a key role in bestowing status and forging alliances. The size of the dowry indicated the bride’s family’s social and economic standing and a large endowment could raise the status of the wife and her family.

It was most familiar in propertied cultures such as ancient Greece and Rome, India and Medieval Europe. Dowry was an important of social standing and wealth; at Athens in the Classical period dowries for women from rich families could amount to 5-10 percent of the paternal estate, while for poorer families the proportion of the family property may have been greater still.

Although the dowry system has been outlawed since the enactment of the 1961 Dowry Prohibition Act in India’s Penal Code (amended in 1984 and 1986), it is still socially and informally sanctioned, particularly in business castes and in rural communities.
The use of dowry
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