Women set up group to fight dowry system

Rautahat, February 2

There has been a significant drop in the practice of giving and taking dowry in Sakhuawa Dhamaura of Rautahat’s Brindaban Municipality-9, thanks to a campaign launched by local women against the practice.

“The practice of dowry is one of the main reasons behind violence against women and many poor parents incur huge debts while marrying off their daughters. Something had to be done to bring an end to this practice, which is also one of the causes of increasing violence against women,” said Ruksana Khatun, a local.  She added that many women faced violence and humiliation at the hands of their in-laws for not bringing enough dowry.

A few months ago, Ruksansa and other local women joined hands to set up Chand Sitara Women Self-reliance Group to spread awareness about the ills brought by the dowry system.

According to Ruksana, so far five marriages had taken place without exchange of dowry in the villages after the group launched the anti-dowry campaign. The group has also vowed to take action against anyone giving or receiving dowry.

“Ever since the women launched the campaign, villagers fear to talk about dowry, let alone give or receive it, which is a good sign,” said Haji Jikurullah, a local, praising the women for their initiative.

Meanwhile, the group’s initiative has also played an instrumental role in bringing down the cases of child marriage, polygamy and violence against women. Women also have been spreading awareness about sanitation in their villages.