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Women’s equality and dowries: a burning issue

Dowries and bride price are ancient customs which faded with industrialization in the West. Yet why are they on the rise in developing countries?

Vicky Sussens-Messerer
© Getty Images

Women’s equality and dowries: a burning issue

Dowries and bride price are ancient customs which faded with industrialization in the West. Yet why are they on the rise in developing countries?

Vicky Sussens-Messerer

Marriage payments – who pays what to whom?

Dowry: payment transferred from the bride’s family to the bride, traditionally remaining her property
Groom price: dowry transferred directly to the groom’s family by the bride’s family – the bride has no ownership claims to it
Bride price: payment transferred from the groom’s family to the bride’s family
Dower: bride price transferred to the bride by her husband or his family for her support in the event that she should survive her husband

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