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

Lecturer in the Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, University of Education

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

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Marriage can be a organization typical to all or any countries. Really often it is followed by transfers – in many situations in the shape of payments – amongst the categories of the groom and also the bride.

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

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

Ghanaian culture has withstood major modifications to its social techniques on the years that are past. One which’s altered significantly is bride cost. When you look at the days that are old re payment had been a household event. A woman’s bride cost had been compensated by her groom along with his family members. Bride cost wasn’t negotiated: the groom along with his family often decided about what and just how much to cover. This could be voluntarily and willingly paid to your group of the bride.

Before Ghana had been colonised because of the British in 1867, bride cost didn’t involve cash as money hadn’t yet been introduced to the Ghanaian economy. Rather, it included things such as for instance containers of schnapps, ornaments, clothing and cowries for the bride’s mom, dad and brothers.

But times have https://asiandates.net changed. Bride-to-be price re payment is now a more specific practice. A groom primarily funds the costs of his wedding, while some grouped families nevertheless offer economic support for their sons during wedding.

A much more extreme development is the participation of cash and bargaining. The amount to rigorously be paid is negotiated by the groups of the groom while the bride. The present training is that the groom often wants a listing through the bride’s family. Although bride cost listings can vary greatly among families and groups that are ethnic Ghana, many listings consist of products such as for instance containers of schnapps, ornaments, garments and money for the bride`s mother, daddy and brothers.

The things in the need list have actually also taken for a look that is modern. Some families need electronics such as for example mobiles, laptop computers and iPads as bride cost. Several factors, like the groom’s wealth and status, as well as the bride’s amount of education, regulate how much a groom will pay as bride cost.

Although bride cost custom has significant social and functions that are social you will find latent, unrecognised and unintended effects for the practice.

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

We discovered that there have been psychological and social implications for the practice of bride price. In Ghana spending the bride pricing is taken mainly being a cultural constant that has to be satisfied. But, as our studies have shown, this has both social and mental implications for the men 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 conversations and in-depth individual interviews with 32 participants, consists of 16 perpetrators (males) and 16 victims (females) from rural and metropolitan Ghana. The individuals’ ages ranged from 24 to 60.

Our classification ended up being 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 past marital partner as victims, and guys who’d inflicted real or intimate punishment, or both, on an ongoing or previous marital partner as perpetrators.

Our research unearthed that both male and female individuals thought bride cost practice ended up being required 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 being a necessary condition for male identification in culture. Failure to fulfil it may 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 decided by guys through the payment of bride cost. It absolutely was obvious within our research that bride cost could lead ladies to seem worthless unless covered, also to be treated nonetheless a guy desires.

For instance, as a result to whether or perhaps not bride cost practice should always be proscribed, one feminine participant from a rural area stated:

No. How do we abolish our tradition? We will maybe maybe perhaps not concur that a guy should head into the house and simply take my daughter with no bride cost.

Additionally, male participants within the study described price that is bride as being a material condition for keeping culturally assumed masculine identification and authority in wedding. Having a bride-priced spouse had been regarded as a masculine success.

We additionally unearthed that spending the bride price meant there clearly was an implicit moral responsibility on a woman’s component to respect and obey her husband’s commands and desires. Psychologically, an ownership was created by the practice mentality in guys. This could cause them to see their spouses as his or her ‘purchase’ over whom they work out unfettered authority, including physical and mental punishment.

As an example, a participant that is male that:

I really believe bride cost is component for the reason why husbands abuse their spouses since it suggests that We have obtained you against your moms and dads or family members so they really understand i must look after you. If We care for afterward you you have to also obey the things I say. After the grouped household takes the bride cost, additionally they accept that the girl is with within my care and in case any such thing should occur to her they’re going to ask me personally.

Additionally, the change of items and cash for the bride, especially a high bride cost, developed indebtedness into the minds of both the bride along with her family members. This intended that when the spouse mistreated their spouse in wedding, the family members felt they couldn’t intervene.

The re re payment of bride cost has also been linked to the perception of women as ‘acquired properties’ over whom males work out authority and control. On the basis of the participants’ opinions, 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 wedding, remarks through the individuals recommended that the training just isn’t regarded by ladies in Ghana as demeaning it does not offend any communal morality or societal ethos because they think. There is a communal feeling of ownership regarding the bride cost training among both women and men.