Thursday, March 08, 2012
Say No to Dowry - Dowry in Asia and Europe
"In Victorian England, dowries were seen among the upper class as an early payment of the daughter's inheritance. Only daughters who had not received their dowries were entitled to part of the estate when their parents died. If a couple died without children, the woman's dowry was returned to her family.
"In some cases, nuns were required to bring a dowry when joining a convent. At some times, such as ancien regime France, convents were also used by some parents to put less attractive daughters, so that the more marriagable daughters could have larger dowries. Ancien regime families that could not provide proper dowries also used the convents as places to put their daughters."
Say No to Dowry
"Bride-burning is a form of domestic violence practiced in India and Pakistan. It is not the same as ancient and long abolished (formally abolished in 1829) custom of Sati, where widowed women were forcefully placed on a burning pyre of the dead husband (usually a man in his old age) and burnt to death. According to Indian National Crime Record Bureau, there were 1,948 convictions and 3,876 acquittals in dowry death cases in 2008.
"In this case the bride is killed at home by her husband. Kerosene is used as the fuel.  It has been a major problem on since at least 1993. This crime has been treated as culpable homicide and if proven, is punishable accordingly (mostly up to death sentence or life imprisonment)." Bride burning - Wikipedia
"A dowry (also known as trousseau or tocher or, in Latin, dos) is the money, goods, or estate that a woman brings forth to the marriage. It contrasts with bride price, which is paid to the bride's parents, and dower, which is property settled on the bride herself by the groom at the time of marriage. The same culture may simultaneously practice both dowry and bride price. Dowry is an ancient custom, and its existence may well predate records of it.
"Many authors believe that the giving and receiving of dowry reflects the status and even the effort to climb high in social hierarchy.
"One function dowry may be to provide the husband with "seed money" or property for the establishment of a new household and to help feed and protect the family . Another to provide the wife and children some support if he were to die. Still another function may be as compensation for bride price.
"A dowry may also have served as a form of protection for the wife against the possibility of ill treatment by her husband and his family. In other words, the dowry provides an incentive to the husband not to harm his wife.
"An evolutionary psychology explanation for dowry and bride price is that bride price is common in polygynous societies which have a relative scarcity of available women. In monogamous societies where women have little personal wealth dowry is instead common since there is a relative scarcity of wealthy men who can choose from many potential women when marrying. Dowry on Wikipedia
"Dowry was widely practiced in Europe. In Homeric times, the usual Greek practice was to give a brideprice. Dowries were exchanged in the later classical time (5th century BC). Ancient Romans also practiced dowry, though Tacitus notes that the Germanic tribes practiced the reverse custom of the dower.
"Dowry is a common practice in many Asian countries, including Bangladesh, India, Thailand, Pakistan, and Sri Lanka."
Related link: "The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code, dating back to about 1772 BC. It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world. The sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi, enacted the code, and partial copies exist on a human-sized stone stele and various clay tablets. The Code consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting "an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth" (lex talionis) as graded depending on social status, of slave versus free man." Code of Hammurabi