Life in SusralValue of Jahez

Jahez – Ek Laanat (Dowry Is A Curse)

The Dowry system is basically an Indian trend that we have inherited from the subcontinent merged time. Dowry or jahez is basically the stuff i.e. materialistic stuff the girl’s parents give to a piece of their heart, their daughter. So basically a girl’s parents other than raising her, giving her good education, finding a life partner for her, having the strength to say goodbye to their daughter and seeing her off to her new life with well wishes, also have to gather money for her jahez.

In the older times this was called jahez and in the modern world it’s being called a wedding gift for the daughter. Gifting stuff like furniture, cash, crockery, electric appliances, cars, houses, property all in the name of jahez has been normalized for centuries. Everyone is a part of this system from the rich to the poor and no person alone can break this trend because “Beti ke susral main beti ki izzat ka masla hay, beti ki naak nechi hojayegi”. And sadly it is true. Even in the twenty-first century and even in literate families in our society, the first impression a daughter-in-law makes in her Susral, is always her truck of dowry that is sent to her in-laws.

This system applies an unbearable pressure on the bride’s family; some poor fathers even face the guilt of rejection of their daughter’s proposal because of not having the financial situation to fulfill the groom’s family’s jahez demands which in some cases leads to the bride’s family  getting trapped in loads of debt.

This pressure can have great consequences like becoming a reason for increasing the crime rate in the country and also affecting the death rate. In Pakistan, there are over two thousand dowry related deaths every year. This practice has been oppressing women for over centuries. In the past and even in some places in the current age women are killed as soon as they are born just due to how they have become a financial burden on society.

Dowry issues have also led to abusive marriages which is also somehow the reason for the increased divorce rate. The greed of dowry in poor families also leads to encouraging child marriages. To avoid larger dowries, families often marry their daughters off as children.  

Dowry is also a prime reason for Pakistan’s low literacy rate. Lower class parents start collecting money for dowry and are unable to spend on their daughter’s education. They consider the school fees as a waste of money and secure their daughter’s future by securing their jahez.

Dowry also promotes gender inequality. I mean, we don’t see guys promising to give a truck full of valuable objects to the bride’s family or gold sets to the bride’s parents. Do we? Then why is this tradition so common for women? This system dehumanizes women giving a sense of superiority to the groom.

Jahez has been a laanat (curse) of our society for so long and it’s about time that we start seeing the tradition of jahez for what it really is, and how it has devalued a woman’s existence.

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Hello! My name is Saba. I am an engineer and a devoted housewife who loves to cook and write. I can write about whatever you need me to. I just love to write, it empowers me.

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