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Yes, it’s time to rethink about it though it has been very long time we are practicing it. We should try to build a good customs and traditions that let good effect on us and such traditions should also be revised as time passes. After all it is dowry system that is affecting our society in negative way rather than positive effect. Dowry system is a cultural practice that is found mainly in India and Nepal where parents of daughter are compelled to provide a monetary value to their daughter husband’s family for marriage purpose. It is true that dowry system has is one of the most important social and cultural practices in our country. It has some conditional good effects for society but in overall, we can see more negative effects of it and is necessary to admit it soon. Every day the problem of dowry is growing in multiple patterns and negative effect of this is clearly seen in Nepalese society. One of the current effects of dowry is increase in divorce rate in Nepal. In other word, traditional dowry system is increasing divorce rate in Nepal, so it is no longer useful.
One of the most important effects of dowry system in Nepalese society is increase in domestic violence of women due to not bringing enough dowries during marriage. In other word, the women are compelled to face brutal violence for not bringing the dowry and thus women case the file for divorce. For example, as clarified by Kalpana Bhusal (senior reporter) in Global Press Journal, the most common form of the domestic violence is beating and burning for dowry in terai region and it is the main factor to increase the divorce rate day by day. Furthermore, she explains the effects of dowry system that can be seen on the mental and physical health of the newly wed bridegroom (Bhusal). Helen Sherpa, reporter on women violence, gives many examples of such violence to women by bride family in Nepali Times and one of them is of Ayekshya’s situation. She was beaten by her husband and by mother in law for not fulfilling the demands of during the marriage (Sherpa). This is just an example, but such types of cases are found frequently. These examples are important as they show how the dowry system is increasing the divorce rate in Nepal. So that we can conclude that the dowry has risen the domestic women violence which is greatly increasing the divorce rate in Nepal.
Next most common effect of dowry system in Nepal is increasing difference in birth rate of male and female in society. More specifically, the practice of dowry system in Nepalese society has brought the trend that no parents want to have female child so that they do not need to give dowry in future. For illustration, the WHO has included the main reason of abortion is due to selective sex preference in Nepal and that is the side effect of dowry. Bimal Khatiwoda talks about relation between selective sex preference, child marriage and dowry system in his article “Child Marriages Driven by Dowry, Old Beliefs.” He further talks about the pressure of dowry on parents for the future and explains how they try to avoid the female child based on true incident (Khatiwoda). These examples clarify that how the dowry system is going to try for increasing difference in birth rate between male and female in Nepalese Society. Thus, we can take dowry system as one of the vital factor for increasing the difference in birth rate of male and female.
Strict implementation of law can be one of the solutions to control the dowry system. In other words, there is strict law against taking the dowry which should be practiced, and people should take advantage of this law. Present constitution of Nepal has clearly stated about punishment for those who takes the advantages of dowry system. This method to eradicate can be a good point of solution but the looking around the scenario of society no any effect of laws is seen to control the dowry. Since dowry is deeply rooted traditional culture so no any effect of law to control it has been effective. We need to teach them that dowry can be replaced in better way than materialistic way. For example, we can persuade parents to provide the enough education to their children rather than any property. I have seen personally that the family who has provided the education to their daughter are financially strong and is also strong enough to fight against such social evil. Likewise, the good effect of providing the education to daughter has been seen in present society and that is also creating a strong belief toward educating the daughter. According to the article published by Bhagwati Dhungana in The Himalayan Times, there has been significant effect of education on reducing the dowry system. The main reason for taking the education as factor to control the dowry was due to the reason that education is making daughter able to stand against dowry (Dhungana). This example is important as it shows how we need to eradicate the dowry system. Thus, we can make sense that the providing education to daughter strongly helps society to remove such traditional dowry system.
Some people say that dowry can make the women financially strong and it is also one of the sigh of gender equality as parents are going to give equal property to both children. But going through the way of dowry practices in context of Nepal, it has been a compulsory and is directly compared to the pride of family in society. Due to reason family is compelled to lose all property for daughter. Also, people argue that it is our tradition and it will be impossible to eradicate. We are very careful about our tradition but it also our duty to eradicate the bad traditions. For instance, caste discrimination and hali partha was also one of the social evil in our society that had been as tradition, but it was our effort that finally we eradicated it. These examples are important as they smoothly suggest why we need to avoid traditional system. Thus, we can easily conclude that traditional dowry system is now no longer useful.
We all want our daughter to be educated and well established but not to be valued for any dowries so that we all need to be concerned to eradicate the system of dowry. Nobody wants to see their daughter to beaten due to insufficient dowry and we do not want our family to be in road by giving dowry to their daughter. As we know harmful traditions should be no more practiced, so dowry also comes under the same category. We know the customs and traditions are one of the important aspects of life but if the traditions are no more useful than it should be revised according to the time. If the dowry system is not reported in time, then the divorce in near future can be very growing serious problem in near future.
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