Gender Inequality Root Cause

This editorial is based on the article “Breaking the chain” published in The Indian Express on 02/07/2021. It deals with the problems of Gender Inequality Root Cause in India.

Dowry is a social evil due to which unimaginable torture and crimes against women have arisen in the society and the Indian matrimonial system has been polluted and It can be said that dowry is the root casuse of gender inequality in India. Dowry is the payment made by the girl’s family in cash or kind to the in-laws of the bride at the time of marriage.

Today the government has introduced many laws not only to eradicate the dowry system but also to uplift the condition of the girl child (Dowry Prohibition Act 1961) and is trying to improve through the schemes.

However due to the social nature of this problem this law has failed to give the desired result in our society.

To get rid of this problem, it can be helpful to make the social and moral consciousness of the people effective, to provide education and economic freedom to women and to implement the law against the dowry system effectively.

Effect of dowry system

  • Gender discrimination: Due to the dowry system, it has been seen many times that women are seen as a liability and they are often forced into subordination and they are given second class facilities in respect of education or other facilities.
  • Influencing careers of women: Poor presence of women in the workforce and consequent lack of financial independence is a major factor in the dowry system.
  • The poor sections of the society often send their daughters to work to help with dowry so that they can earn some money.
  • Middle and upper class families send their daughters to school regularly but on career options loud do not give.
  • Many women remain unmarried: An uncountable number of girls in the country, despite being educated and professionally capable, remain unmarried as their parents are not able to meet the demand for dowry before marriage.
  • Women’s materialization: Contemporary dowry is an investment by the bride’s family for a powerful relationship and money making opportunities.
  • Crimes against women: In some cases, the dowry system gives rise to crimes against women, ranging from emotional abuse and injury to death.

Way ahead

  • Recognizing the limits of political solutions to a social problem: No law can be enforced without the full cooperation of the people.
  • No doubt the making of a law sets a pattern of behaviour, activates the social conscience and aids the efforts of social reformers in eradicating crimes.
  • However, social evils like dowry cannot be eradicated unless people do not cooperate with the law.
  • Educating girl child: Education and independence are a powerful and valuable gift that parents can give to their daughter.
  • This in turn will help her to become financially strong and become a contributing member of the family, thereby strengthening her position with respect in the family.
  • So providing good education to daughters and encouraging them to pursue career of their choice is the best dowry that any parent can give to their daughter.”
  • Dowry a Social Stigma: Accepting dowry should be made a social stigma and all generations should be inspired for this. For this there is a need to create social consciousness about the ill-effects of dowry system. in this context:
  • The Central and State Governments should take effective steps to increase ‘anti-dowry literacy’ among the ‘continuous’ people through Lok Adalats, radio broadcasts, television and newspapers.
  • Youth are the only ray of hope to effectively tackle the menace of dowry system. They should be given moral education to make them aware and broaden their outlook.
  • Multi stakeholder approach: Dowry is not the only problem, but many factors are responsible for it, so society should take all possible steps for gender equality. in this context:
  • To eliminate gender inequality to the states data related to birth, early childhood, education, nutrition, livelihood, access to health care etc. should be looked at and strategies should be made accordingly.
  • There is a need to expand child protection and safe public transport, reduce discrimination at work and create a conducive workplace environment.
  • Men at home should share the responsibilities of household chores and care.

Conclusion

Dowry system is not only illegal but also immoral. Therefore, there is a need to awaken the conscience of the society completely towards the evils of dowry system so that the prestige of the dowry demanders in the society is reduced.

Thanks!

Also Read: Impacts of COVID-19 on women’s employment

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