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

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

Lecturer during the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Education

Disclosure statement

Stephen Baffour Adjei doesn’t work for, consult, very very own stocks in or get funding from any business or organization that will reap the benefits of this informative article, and it has disclosed no appropriate affiliations beyond their scholastic visit.

The discussion UK gets funding from the organisations

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

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Wedding is definitely a organization common to all or any cultures. Extremely often it’s combined with transfers – in many situations in the shape of payments – involving the grouped groups of the groom therefore the bride.

These re re re payments may be categorised into two: dowry and bride price. The dowry, more prevalent in parts of asia, involves re payments created by the bride towards the groom and his household. Bride price, having said that, relates to the re payments that a groom that is prospective his household make to a potential bride and her family members. It really is a really typical practice that is cultural Africa.

Historically, bride www.mailorderbrides.dating cost re payment served to validate customary marriages in many African communities. It strengthened family that is new produced by marriage and legitimised young ones created to marriages.

Ghanaian culture has withstood major modifications to its social methods within the years that are past. One which’s modified significantly is bride cost. Within the days that are old re re payment ended up being a family group affair. A woman’s bride price had been compensated by her groom and their household. Bride cost wasn’t negotiated: the groom and their family members often decided on which and just how much to cover. This could be voluntarily and willingly compensated to your grouped group of the bride.

Before Ghana ended up being colonised by the British in 1867, bride cost failed to include money as money hadn’t yet been introduced to the Ghanaian economy. Rather, it included products such as for example containers of schnapps, ornaments, clothing and cowries for the bride’s mom, dad and brothers.

But times have actually changed. Bride-to-be price re payment is now an even more specific practice. A groom primarily funds the expenses of their marriage, although some families nevertheless offer economic support for their sons during wedding.

A far more evolution that is drastic the participation of money and bargaining. The total amount to be compensated is rigorously negotiated by the categories of the groom together with bride. The present training is that the groom often requests an inventory through the bride’s family members. Although bride cost lists can vary among families and cultural teams in Ghana, many listings consist of items such as for example containers of schnapps, ornaments, garments and money for the bride`s mother, dad and brothers.

The things from the need list have actually additionally taken on a look that is modern. Some families need gadgets such as for example smart phones, laptop computers and iPads as bride cost. Several facets, like the groom’s wealth and status, additionally the bride’s amount of education, regulate 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 regarding the training.

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

We unearthed that there have been social and mental implications associated with training of bride cost. In Ghana having to pay the bride pricing is taken mainly being a cultural constant that features to be satisfied. But, as our studies have shown, this has both social and implications that are psychological the guys who 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 conversations and in-depth specific interviews with 32 participants, consists of 16 perpetrators (males) and 16 victims (ladies) from rural and metropolitan Ghana. The individuals’ ages ranged from 24 to 60.

Our category ended up being in line with the individuals experiences that are’ self-reported. That is, we classified feminine participants with self-reported experiences of real or intimate punishment, or both, from present or past marital partner as victims, and males that has inflicted real or intimate abuse, or both, on a present or previous marital partner as perpetrators.

Our research unearthed that both male and female individuals thought bride price practice had been essential for attaining desired masculinity and femininity in Ghana. Female participants saw it as a significant part of womanhood, bestowing respect and dignity in wedding. Men, in the other hand, viewed it being a necessary condition for male identification in culture. Failure to fulfil it may significantly undermine their identification and dominance in wedding.

Individuals advised that the meaning of women’s identities, and their sense of self-worth in marriage, ended up being dependant on males through the re re re payment of bride price. It absolutely was obvious within our research that bride cost could lead females to look worthless unless taken care of, and also to be addressed nonetheless a guy wants.

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

No. Just how can we abolish our tradition? We shall perhaps maybe perhaps not concur that a person should head into the house and simply take my daughter without having a bride cost.

Additionally, male participants into the study described bride-to-be cost tradition as a product condition for maintaining culturally thought masculine identification and authority in wedding. Having a bride-priced spouse was viewed as a masculine success.

We additionally discovered that spending the bride price meant there is 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 make them see their spouses because their ‘purchase’ over whom they work out unfettered authority, including physical and mental punishment.

For example, a male participant revealed that:

I really believe bride cost is component for the reason why husbands abuse their spouses since it demonstrates that i’ve obtained you from your moms and dads or family members so that they understand i need to manage you. Then you must also obey what I say if i take care of you. When the household takes the bride price, additionally they accept that the lady is with within my care of course such a thing should occur to her they are going to ask me personally.

Additionally, the exchange of products and cash for the bride, specially a bride that is high, developed indebtedness into the minds of both the bride along with her family members. This suggested that after the spouse mistreated their spouse in marriage, the grouped household felt they couldn’t intervene.

The re re re payment of bride cost has also been from the perception of women as ‘acquired properties’ over whom men work out authority and control. In line with the participants’ commentary, we unearthed that the character that is transactional of training could ‘objectify’ and ‘commoditise’ feamales 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, feedback through the individuals suggested that the training isn’t regarded by feamales in Ghana as demeaning simply because they think it generally does not offend any communal morality or societal ethos. There clearly was a public feeling of ownership regarding the bride cost training among gents and ladies.


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