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

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

Lecturer during the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Education

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Stephen Baffour Adjei can not work for, consult, very very own stocks in or get financing from any business or organization that will reap the benefits of this short article, and has now disclosed no relevant affiliations beyond their educational visit.

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Wedding is definitely a institution typical to all the cultures. Really often it is followed by transfers – in many situations in the shape of payments – involving the grouped groups of the groom additionally the bride.

These re re payments could be categorised into two: dowry and bride price. The dowry, more prevalent in parts of asia, involves payments created by the bride to your groom and their household. Bride-to-be price, having said that, is the re payments that a potential groom and his household make up to a potential bride along with her household. It really is a really typical practice that is cultural Africa.

Historically, bride cost re re re payment served to validate customary marriages generally in most societies that are african. It strengthened family that is new developed by marriage and legitimised kiddies born to marriages.

Ghanaian culture has withstood major changes to its social techniques within the previous years. One which’s modified significantly is bride cost. Into the days of the past, re re payment ended up being a household event. A woman’s bride cost had been compensated by her groom along with his family members. Bride cost had not been negotiated: the groom along with his family members often decided on which and exactly how much to cover. This might be voluntarily and willingly compensated to your grouped group of the bride.

Before Ghana had been colonised because of the British in 1867, bride cost failed to include money as money hadn’t yet been introduced to the Ghanaian economy. Alternatively, it included things such as for example containers of schnapps, ornaments, garments and cowries for the bride’s mom, daddy and brothers.

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

A far more extreme development is the participation of money and bargaining. The quantity to rigorously be paid is negotiated by the groups of the groom together with bride. The current training is the fact that groom frequently wants an inventory through the bride’s family members. Although bride cost listings can vary among families and cultural teams in Ghana, many lists consist of products such as for instance containers of schnapps, ornaments, clothes and money for the bride`s mother, daddy and brothers.

Those items from the need list have actually additionally taken for a look that is modern. Some families need electronics such as for example cell phones, laptop computers and iPads as bride cost. A few facets, like the groom’s status and wealth, while 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 will find latent, unrecognised and unintended effects for the training.

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

We discovered that there have been psychological and social implications associated with the training of bride cost. In Ghana spending the bride pricing is taken mainly as a cultural constant that features to be fulfilled. But, as our studies have shown, this has both social and mental implications for the guys whom spend and also for the females for who it really is compensated.

The practice of bride price is a sensitive cultural issue, and to suggest its proscription is likely to be slow – or to fail despite our findings.

Sex identity

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

Our category had been in line with the individuals experiences that are’ self-reported. This is certainly, we classified feminine participants with self-reported experiences of real or abuse that is sexual or both, from present or previous marital partner as victims, and males who’d inflicted real or sexual abuse https://ukrainianbrides.us, or both, on a present or previous marital partner as perpetrators.

Our study unearthed that both male and female individuals thought bride cost practice had been essential for achieving 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 being a condition that is necessary male identification in culture. Failure to fulfil it might greatly undermine their dominance and identity in wedding.

Individuals advised that the meaning of women’s identities, and their sense of self-worth in marriage, ended up being based on guys through the re re re payment of bride cost. It absolutely was obvious within our research that bride cost could lead females to show up worthless unless covered, also to be addressed but a guy desires.

As an example, as a result to whether or perhaps not bride cost practice ought to be proscribed, one feminine participant from a rural area stated:

No. Just how can we abolish our tradition? I will maybe not agree totally that a person should head into the house and simply just take my child with no bride cost.

Also, male participants within the study described bride cost tradition as a product condition for keeping culturally assumed masculine identification and authority in wedding. Having a bride-priced spouse ended up being regarded as an accomplishment that is masculine.

We additionally discovered that spending the bride price meant there is an implicit obligation that is moral a woman’s component to respect and obey her husband’s commands and desires. Psychologically, the training created an ownership mindset in males. This might cause them to see their spouses as their ‘purchase’ over whom they work out unfettered authority, including real and abuse that is psychological.

By way of example, a participant that is male that:

I think bride cost is a component regarding the reason why husbands abuse their spouses as it demonstrates We have obtained you against your moms and dads or family members so they really understand i need to look after you. If We manage after this you you have to additionally obey the things I state. When the grouped family members takes the bride cost, in addition they accept that the girl is in my care if such a thing should occur to her they’re going to ask me personally.

Additionally, the change of items and cash for the bride, specially a high bride cost, produced indebtedness when you look at the minds of both the bride along with her household. This implied 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 had been additionally linked to the perception of women as ‘acquired properties’ over whom males work out control and authority. In line with the participants’ opinions, we unearthed that the character that is transactional of training could ‘objectify’ and ‘commoditise’ ladies in wedding.

Feeling of ownership

Though our study indicated that bride cost tradition could reinforce negative stereotypes about male domination and feminine subordination in wedding, commentary through the individuals advised that the training just isn’t regarded by feamales in Ghana as demeaning it does not offend any communal morality or societal ethos because they think. There was clearly a public feeling of ownership associated with the bride cost training among both women and men.


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