Dowry system can be referred to as giving of money or certain gifts to the bride or groom on behalf of the family in exchange for marriage. Dowry system varies in various societies. For instance, the Indian society requires that the family of the bride give dowry to the groom. This differs with other cultures such as Africa where the groom gives dowry to the bride. The dowry system still persists in some societies regardless of the increased public condemnation of the practice. The proponents of the system argue that it has advantages that cannot be ignored.
The first advantage of dowry system is that it assists the newly married couple to start their family. The dowry involves giving household items, money, and even utensils. Such items are very important especially to poor couples who cannot get enough cash to start a new life. The dowry system, therefore, offers an easy landing for newly married couple to furnish their home and plan for their marriage life.
Closely related is that dowry system supports the education of poor girls and boys. The money given during marriage helps to solve financial challenges to the family even if it is on a temporary basis. Such money can help to support many initiatives including educating the young boys and girls who have financial challenges. Besides, the family can as well invest the money in long-lasting profit-making initiatives hence permanently solving financial issues in a family.
The dowry system on some occasions helps to raise the status of women in the family. Proponents of the system believe that dowry acts as premium payment for a woman since marriage is taken as life insurance. A woman who pays a large amount of dowry is more confident when in the house with her husband. The bride also receives higher attention from the in-laws family and is treated as very important part of the family. On the contrary, the bride who pays less dowry feels uncomfortable and insecure when entering a new family.
In addition, the dowry system enhances inter-caste, inter-state and inter-religion marriages. Through the dowry system, one is able to find a suitable bride or bridegroom from other states, cast or religion. The new marriage, therefore, promotes social integration especially in societies where some communities or religion are discriminated. In addition, dowry system helps to raise the status of a family in the society when a bride or bridegroom from a lower class or caste marries from an upper class.
Another benefit of dowry system is that it enables easy marriage of an ugly looking woman or man. The dowry system of marriage does not care about the outlook of an individual but rather the amount of dowry they can pay in exchange for the bride or groom. Therefore, an ugly looking man or woman finds it easy to get married when they have enough to pay. This is very important in the current world where the outlook of an individual contributes to their marriage.
Another important benefit for dowry system is that it enhances the relationship of respective families where the bride and bridegroom were born. Before payment of the dowry, a lot of discussions take place to settle on a satisfactory amount for both families. Such discussions are crucial in understanding the economic and social status of the other family hence cannot settle on an amount that will be a burden to pay.
The dowry system is largely condemned and even legally banned in some societies. However, the proponents of the system have sufficient beliefs that the system is still relevant and necessary in the modern world. The system should, therefore, not be entirely ignored or banned with the view of its disadvantages only.