exactly How ‘bride price’ reinforces negative stereotypes: a Ghanaian example

exactly How ‘bride price’ reinforces negative stereotypes: a Ghanaian example

Lecturer in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Education

Disclosure statement

Stephen Baffour Adjei doesn’t work for, consult, very very very own stocks in or get financing from any organization or organisation that could take advantage of this short article, and has disclosed no appropriate affiliations beyond their scholastic visit.

The discussion UK gets funding from all of these organisations

Republish our articles free of charge, online or perhaps in printing, under innovative Commons licence.

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Wedding is an organization typical to any or all cultures. Really often it is associated with transfers – in many instances in the type of payments – involving the grouped groups of the groom while the bride.

These re re payments are categorised into two: bride and dowry price. The dowry, more widespread in parts of asia, involves re re payments created by the bride to your groom along with his family members. Bride-to-be price, having said that, identifies the re payments that the prospective groom and his household make to a potential bride along with her family members. It really is a rather typical cultural training in Africa.

Historically, bride cost re payment served to validate customary marriages in many societies that are african. It strengthened brand new household bonds produced by marriage and legitimised young ones created to marriages.

Ghanaian culture has encountered major modifications to its social methods within the previous years. One which’s modified significantly is bride cost. Into the days that are old re payment had been a household event. A woman’s bride cost had been compensated by her groom and their family members. Bride price had not been negotiated: the groom and their family members often decided about what and just how much to cover. This could be voluntarily and willingly compensated towards the group of the bride.

Before Ghana ended up being colonised because of the British in 1867, bride cost would not involve money https://russian-brides.us/ as money had not yet been introduced to the Ghanaian economy. Alternatively, it included products such as for instance containers of schnapps, ornaments, clothing and cowries for the bride’s mom, daddy and brothers.

But times have actually changed. Bride-to-be price re re re payment is now a far more practice that is individual. A groom primarily funds the costs of their wedding, although some grouped families nevertheless offer economic support with their sons during wedding.

A far more extreme development is the participation of money and bargaining. The quantity to be compensated is rigorously negotiated by the categories of the groom additionally the bride. The present training is the fact that groom frequently wants a listing from the bride’s family members. Although bride price listings can vary among families and cultural teams in Ghana, many listings consist of products such as for example containers of schnapps, ornaments, clothing and money for the bride`s mother, daddy and brothers.

Those items from the need list have also taken for a look that is modern. Some families need gadgets such as for example cellphones, laptop computers and iPads as bride cost. A few facets, like the groom’s status and wealth, and also the bride’s amount of education, decide how much a groom will pay as bride cost.

Although bride cost customized has significant social and social functions, you can find latent, unrecognised and unintended effects for the training.

Our research attempt to explore how bride cost re re payment forms cultural and sex identity and husband-to-wife punishment in Ghana.

We discovered that there have been psychological and social implications regarding the training of bride cost. In Ghana having to pay the bride pricing is taken mainly as a cultural constant that includes to be satisfied. But, as our studies have shown, it offers both social and implications that are psychological the guys who spend and also for the females for who it really is compensated.

Despite our findings, the training of bride pricing is a sensitive and painful social problem, also to recommend its proscription will probably be slow – or even to fail.

Sex identity

We carried out semi-structured focus team talks and in-depth specific interviews with 32 participants, consists of 16 perpetrators (guys) and 16 victims (ladies) from rural and metropolitan Ghana. The individuals’ ages ranged from 24 to 60.

Our category had been on the basis of the individuals’ self-reported experiences. This is certainly, we classified female participants with self-reported experiences of real or abuse that is sexual or both, from present or previous marital partner as victims, and males that has inflicted real or intimate punishment, or both, on an ongoing or previous marital partner as perpetrators.

Our research found that both male and participants that are female bride cost practice ended up being needed for attaining desired masculinity and femininity in Ghana. Feminine participants saw it as a significant part of womanhood, bestowing respect and dignity in wedding. Guys, on the other side hand, viewed it as a condition that is necessary male identification in culture. Failure to fulfil it might significantly undermine their dominance and identity in wedding.

Individuals advised that the meaning of women’s identities, and their sense of self-worth in marriage, had been dependant on males through the re payment of bride cost. it absolutely was evident inside our study that bride cost could lead ladies to look worthless unless taken care of, also to be addressed nonetheless a guy wants.

As an example, as a result to whether or otherwise not bride cost practice must be proscribed, one participant that is female a rural area stated:

No. Just how can we abolish our tradition? We shall maybe perhaps perhaps not concur that a guy should enter the house and just just take my child with out a bride cost.

Additionally, male participants within the study described bride-to-be cost tradition as being a product condition for maintaining culturally thought masculine identification and authority in wedding. Having a bride-priced spouse had been viewed as an accomplishment that is masculine.

We additionally discovered that having to pay the bride price meant there clearly was an implicit ethical responsibility on a woman’s component to respect and obey her husband’s commands and desires. Psychologically, an ownership was created by the practice mindset in males. This could cause them to see their wives as their ‘purchase’ over whom they work out unfettered authority, including physical and abuse that is psychological.

For example, a male participant revealed that:

I really believe bride price is a component of this reason why husbands abuse their spouses from your parents or family so they know I have to take care of you because it shows that I have acquired you. Then you must also obey what I say if i take care of you. When the household accepts the bride cost, additionally they accept that the girl is within my care and when any such thing should happen to her they are going to ask me personally.

Additionally, the exchange of products and cash for a bride, especially a bride that is high, developed indebtedness when you look at the minds of both the bride along with her household. This suggested that after the spouse mistreated their spouse in wedding, the family members felt they couldn’t intervene.

The re re re payment of bride cost ended up being additionally linked to the perception of women as ‘acquired properties’ over whom males work out authority and control. In line with the participants’ feedback, we discovered that the transactional character for the training could ‘objectify’ and ‘commoditise’ ladies in wedding.

Feeling of ownership

Though our study revealed that bride cost tradition could reinforce negative stereotypes about male domination and feminine subordination in marriage, reviews through the individuals suggested that the training is certainly not regarded by ladies in Ghana as demeaning simply because they think it generally does not offend any public morality or societal ethos. There was clearly a public feeling of ownership regarding the bride cost training among gents and ladies.

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