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The scourge of dowry

…EVERY year, hundreds of women from all strata of society face untold suffering … and often death from trauma and physical torture simply because they fail to fulfil purported dowry obligations. A recent case … is that of Yasmin Nuri … who allegedly died of trauma after tolerating a series of abuses from her in-laws for failing to bring dowry. Incidents like this are not uncommon but what horrifies is that the physical assaults on her continued even when she was pregnant and after she gave birth to a baby girl. Nuri’s case not only underscores the overall helplessness of women — irrespective of class — in society, but also illustrates that despite so much change, the degrading of women during marriage in relation to material gifts has seen little improvement. The problem is that no matter how much we talk of women empowerment … the reforms have left the putrid core intact.

Sadly, the blame also lies on women … because in Nuri’s incident — and for hundreds of other women — persecution after marriage is often conducted by several members of the husband’s family who are women. The message here is simple; unless women take a stand against violence against their own gender the torment will not end…. Obviously, all the counselling and the pro-women activism are not delivering. But that is not shocking because the change has to come from within the family where mothers and fathers must teach children about human rights and not about greed and the superiority of … males…. — (May 1)


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