Gender Gender

Don’t commercialise bride price – reactions

Speak Out on Violence: DORIS KASOTE
DON’T commercialise bride price was the topic I tackled last week. The gist was that some people have argued that outrageous bride price demands have contributed to gender-based violence (GBV) because some men view woman as a piece of property and not an equal partner in marriage.
The topic attracted some reactions and below are some.
Dear Doris,

Your write-up on not commercialising bride price should be a lesson to parents who think they can get rich because they have daughters. Children are not like items one can buy from a store.

I got married five years ago and almost called off my marriage after I learnt what my fiancée’s family was demanding.
But because I loved her and wanted to spend the rest of my life with her, I asked that my shibukombe negotiates that the bride price be reduced.
I am now a father of two daughters. I have so much attachment to my daughters and do not look at them as ‘properties’ that I will make money from. What I would wish for them when that time comes is to find men who will make them happy.
I will definitely recognise tradition of bride price but I will not exploit anyone at the expense of my daughters’ happiness. Children are a treasure in themselves, so no amount of money will be able to ‘buy’ that treasure.
Mr X.
Hello Doris,
Reference is made to the write-up that appeared on November 8, 2017.
I also thought outrageous (or reasonably high bride price) amounts of bride price was contributing to the gender-based violence. But from my experience I have come to know that even lowest charged bride price has the extremes of gender-based violence because the husband feels that the girl’s parents were desperate (or in a hurry) of getting rid of their child which results into no respect for her.
I have come to support the reasonably high bride price to see if the man is committed to part away with it to marry the girl.
There was a girl whose bride price was reasonably low that she was being beaten now and again to the extent of threatening her with a kitchen knife. The girl sued the husband for divorce and the courts, upon hearing the girl’s side of the story, did not want to waste their time with counselling, in fear of losing the life of the girl. It was concluded that there was no love and therefore divorce was granted there and then.
Concerned Parent.
To all my ardent readers, your feedback is highly appreciated.
Until next week,
let’s keep in touch

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