Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Sexism & Patriarchy Why are brides ‘given away’ at weddings? Reply To: Why are brides ‘given away’ at weddings?

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The process of ‘giving away’ brides at marriages isn’t something new. In Hindu marriages many rituals take place, Starting with what is known as ‘Kanyadaan’. Most families believe their daughters are paraya dhan which means that they’re just mere caretakers of their daughters and when the time for their marriage comes, they give their daughter to their rightful owners i.e their in-laws. Bidaai means farewell. So, it means the parents are bidding farewell to their daughter after marriage. Many families still practice the dowry system today. It is a payment of cash and gifts to the bridegroom’s family from the bride’s family. I find these practices unfair. Are women only worth something if dowry is given? And what happens if she refuses to give dowry? Why is it only the woman who has to sacrifice her life to get married? Why does she have to leave home, but the same standards aren’t seen for men?
Women are much more than dowry. If you want to marry someone, why would you need anything else other than the person’s hand in marriage? We women are not property. We are humans.
Although the definitions of marriage have changed over time, marriages originally were alliances between families and exchanging properties. Now, the definitions have changed. Although, the dowry system is still existing even today in many places.
Although marriages have improved, we have to accept a hard fact. Marriage was never created to uplift women. It is her family who has to give dowry to her in-laws, It is her who has to change her name. It is her who has to move out of her house and leave her parents. She has to sacrifice what she has just to get married.
I hope that the conditions get better and that marriages are built on equality, love, and trust and not patriarchy.