Dowry is a conditional gift given to the bride at her wedding by her parents which she brings in her husband’s home. There is a custom of giving dowry in many countries like Pakistan, India, Nepal, Turkey, China, US and many others. Some families of the groom demand that only small dowry should be given but others demand heavy and expensive dowry. Huge amount of money is wasted on such demands and also on wedding celebrations. The bride’s parents face huge burden because of such demands.
The government has taken a great step by passing “Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Dowry, Bridal Gift and Marriage Functions Restriction Act 2017”. According to this bill, all the expenditure of the marriage ceremonies should not exceed Pakistani Rupees 75,000 and all ceremonies should be concluded before 10 pm. The bride’s family can only give dowry and gifts restricted to Pakistani Rupees 10,000. The Waleema ceremony is restricted to a one dish banquet of gravy, rice and sweets. If they still do, they shall be liable to a two-month prison term and a fine of Pakistani Rupees 300,000 or both. This bill will now allow daughter’s parents to confidently say that they will not give a lot of dowry and gifts to the bridegroom’s family as it is prohibited by law.
Many parents don’t give better education and proper upbringing to their daughters as they have to save money for their wedding celebrations and giving of dowry. Some parents are also conscious of the status in society that people will judge them on the amount of dowry they will give to their daughters. They don’t realize that giving a lot of dowry and spending a lot of money on marriage celebrations is still not a guarantee that their daughter will live in peace and get respect in her in-laws. Even after giving huge dowry, brides are abused. Government should now strictly see that this bill is properly followed by both Bride’s and Groom’s family. This law should also be passed in other provinces of Pakistan so that they can also get themselves out of this problem and make their daughters’ wedding a happy day of their life and not consider this day as a burden for them.