What is dowry?

Exploitation of women due to dowry

Importance of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961

Punishment of dowry       


What is dowry?

According to section 2 of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961, “Dowry” means any property or valuable security given or agreed to be given either directly or indirectly.

 a. By one party to a marriage to the other party to the marriage, or

 b. By the parent of either party to a marriage or by any other person, to either party to the marriage or to any other person

Dowry is an age-old tradition that has been followed in India on pretext of culture and tradition. Dowry is said to be the gifts, properties, money, jewelry, etc given to the either of the family by the other family involved in the marriage. Dowry is the security given on behalf of the bride. The dowry is demanded by the groom’s family, even after the Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961.

Exploitation of women due to dowry

We have seen in our society women are mistreated; we are progressing but there are still people who have made their own patriarchal society where they assume they can behave in any manner with a woman. The value of women’s worth is decided on basis of what she has brought with her during the marriage. Higher the education or post of the groom in his job higher is the dowry demanded.

There are cases in our society where women has been exploited by her in-laws because they are not satisfied with the dowry she has been given or brought along; they demand for more dowry by harassing the bride. A woman has been used as a weapon to demand more dowry from her family, if the family is not capable of giving dowry, then it leads to crime against women, ranging from emotional abuse and injury to even deaths.

Importance of Dowry Prohibition Act, 1961

This Act was intended to prevent from giving or receiving dowry by either of the parties to marriage. This Act was important to safeguard the rights of woman and empower them by helping them fight against the injustice happening to them in the name of culture and traditions. This act helps to create a dowry free society to some extent, there are still some villages and people with orthodox mindset those who allows dowry. Women should stand against the wrongful act of dowry and ask their parents to stop negotiating when it comes to dowry.

Punishment for Dowry

If any person gives, takes or abets giving or receiving of dowry. The punishment could be imprisonment for minimum 5 years and a fine more than ₹15,000 or the value of the dowry received, whichever is higher. Section 304B was added to the Indian Penal Code, 1860, which made dowry death a specific offence punishable with a minimum sentence of imprisonment for 7 years and a maximum imprisonment for life. It provided that if the death of a woman is caused by burns or bodily injury or occurs in suspicious circumstances within 7 years of her marriage, and there’s evidence to show that before her death, she was subjected to cruelty or harassment by her husband or his relative regarding the demand for dowry, then the husband or the relative shall be deemed to have caused her death.


Even after the enforcement of the Act people are not vocal about the problems, they face due to dowry. There are still some places where dowry is accepted and given without any fear of law. Government of India should make an initiate to promote education to the people living in remote villages who are unaware of the law. Girls and women should be encouraged to stand against the society if they are victim of dowry or when they see any give and take between her family and in-laws. We should empower women and not suppress their thoughts and opinions.


Aishwarya Says:

I have always been against Glorifying Over Work and therefore, in the year 2021, I have decided to launch this campaign “Balancing Life”and talk about this wrong practice, that we have been following since last few years. I will be talking to and interviewing around 1 lakh people in the coming 2021 and publish their interview regarding their opinion on glamourising Over Work.

If you are interested in participating in the same, do let me know.

Do follow me on FacebookTwitter  Youtube and Instagram.

The copyright of this Article belongs exclusively to Ms. Aishwarya Sandeep. Reproduction of the same, without permission will amount to Copyright Infringement. Appropriate Legal Action under the Indian Laws will be taken.

If you would also like to contribute to my website, then do share your articles or poems at

We also have a Facebook Group Restarter Moms for Mothers or Women who would like to rejoin their careers post a career break or women who are enterpreneurs.

We are also running a series Inspirational Women from January 2021 to March 31,2021, featuring around 1000 stories about Indian Women, who changed the world. #choosetochallenge

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.