Women Empowerment: A Big No to Dowry.
Posted by shivamkesari
Couple of weeks ago I published a blog (an open letter to groom) requesting groom to prohibit dowry transaction and how dowry affects our society in general and female status in specific. It was more of a request to the groom. On the eve of International Women’s Day I take opportunity to express through this blog what female members of the society shall do to empower themselves. Though, I can never be perfect to express their concerns until I am myself one of them but still I shall proceed and now request them to say no to dowry demand.
Many a times I had observed that more than what a man discriminate to a woman, the woman herself discriminate to self. Though the world is developing with modern ethos but still we are unable to get out of the gender stereotyping of recognising women of next status. Unfortunately even woman doesn’t want to get out of this stereotype. What can be a best example other than a case from my own family.
“ Whenever some important decision is to be taken in my family and my mother knows what the best decision would be she still always ask me to have a discussion with my father though knowing he will also go for the same.” I had argued with my mother for why can’t she take decision of the household, the only answer I always have is ‘He is chief of the home’. I don’t argue much, else Raat ka khana nahi milega!!!
This is just one case of Patrilineal Society, how female part doesn’t want to be authoritative to take decision or lead. Many such issues are well around us and has become such integrated to our daily life that we even can’t recognise it. What can be more significant of this that males are deciding and leading the movement for empowering women, we are discussing whether they shall be given reservation in legislature or not. Leaders of most of the prominent women movements in India have been male.
I started by mentioning Dowry which is related to marriage. Lets get back to it. Marriage is a social institution and here also gender stereotyping dominates the decision to chose a groom. I am not mentioning about any religious rites or custom but purely personal decision to choose a groom.
Lets play role model:
Just assume yourself a well educated bride, having good salaried job, good height, figure and complexion. Your salary is highly enough to run the household and have sufficient saving. Now the questions are: Will you marry a groom —
1. who earns much less than you but is ready to look after household chores and child. A job similar to a typical housewife – ‘Househusband’
2. Is less educated than you and earns nominal salary.
3. Is of less height than you or is much thinner than you. In short say ‘a physical mismatch’. (Leave away your physio-emotional attraction).
Most of the bride will negate with my view, and this questions can look strange for the issue of my concern. But the decision will surely be dominated by gender stereotype. And this stereotype give room to dowry. Better things comes with price and for marriage and groom case it is termed as ‘Dowry.’
Women empowerment has been westernised in the ethos and has become more of a mediocre topic loosing its vital concern. In my opinion its not just about few women getting top management position in any firm or few lady playing leading roles in a feature film or a woman not needing a man other than to have a child or of to have freedom of choice. Is it not a shame that a women making to a top position becomes a news? The words ‘Women Empowerment’ have much depth and concern.
There is a need to break thinking, not only of men but also of women. They themselves shall strive to get out of their stereotype. What I think if the curse of dowry has to overcome first step shall be from a bride. In case of Dowry transaction in well educated family I get puzzled, ‘why did not the bride complained to the police of dowry demand, didn’t she know cases of dowry death, female foeticide, infanticide, second status of girl child in home, less literacy rate of women and many such cases. If not, then don’t even she knows how much mental harassment it causes to their parents! She knows, but more than it she had learned in the society that she ‘need to marry a groom better than herself’ at whatever dowry their parents has to pay.
Women empowerment will be just a matter of talk and mediocre movement until bride take a move to get the dowry seeker behind bars. Prohibition of dowry transaction in the society will itself make 50% of Indian Women empowered. She will be well educated, she will have her choice to lead life her own way, have coordinating authoritative position in home, right to inheritance in household property and such more rights at par with male counterpart. Women will be assumed empowered if they don’t make a news of achieving some top post.
Happy International Women’s Day….