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 doesn’t work for, consult, very own stocks in or receive money from any organization or organization that could reap the benefits of this informative article, and contains disclosed no appropriate affiliations beyond their scholastic visit.

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Wedding is a organization typical to any or all countries. Really often it is combined with transfers – in many situations in the shape of payments – involving the grouped categories of the groom while the bride.

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

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

Ghanaian culture has withstood major modifications to its social methods throughout the past years. One which’s modified significantly is bride cost. Within the days of the past, payment had been a household event. A woman’s bride cost had been compensated by her groom and their household. Bride price had not been negotiated: the groom along with his family members often decided about what and just how much to cover. This will be voluntarily and willingly compensated to your group of the bride.

Before Ghana had been colonised by the British in 1867, bride cost failed to include money as cash hadn’t yet been introduced in to the Ghanaian economy. Alternatively, it included products such as for example 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 payment has grown to become an even more practice that is individual. A groom primarily funds the costs of their wedding, although some families nevertheless offer economic support with their sons during wedding.

A far more evolution that is drastic the participation of money and bargaining. The quantity to be compensated is rigorously negotiated by the categories of the groom as well as the bride. The present practice is the fact that groom frequently requests a listing through the bride’s family members. Although bride cost listings can vary greatly among families and cultural teams in Ghana, many lists consist of products such as for example containers of schnapps, ornaments, garments and money for the bride`s mother, daddy and brothers.

The things regarding the need list have actually additionally taken for a modern look. Some families need electronics such as for instance cell phones, laptop computers and iPads as bride cost. Several facets, like the groom’s status and wealth, as well as 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 study attempt to explore how bride cost re payment forms cultural and sex husband-to-wife and identity abuse in Ghana.

We found that there have been psychological and social implications of this training of bride price. In Ghana having to pay the bride price is taken mainly as being a cultural constant that features to be satisfied. But, as our studies have shown, it offers both social and emotional implications for the males 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.

Gender identity

We carried out semi-structured focus team conversations and in-depth individual interviews with 32 participants, comprised of 16 perpetrators (guys) and 16 victims (females) from rural and metropolitan Ghana. The participants ages that are from 24 to 60.

Our category had been on the basis of 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 punishment, or both, on a present or past marital partner as perpetrators.

Our research found that both male and participants that are female bride cost practice ended up being essential 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, regarding the other hand, viewed it as being a condition that is necessary male identification in culture. Failure to fulfil it might significantly undermine their identification and dominance in wedding.

Participants proposed that the meaning of women’s identities, and their sense of self-worth in marriage, was dependant on guys through the re re payment of bride price. It had been obvious within our study that bride cost could lead females to seem worthless unless taken care of, and also to be addressed but a person desires.

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

No. How do we abolish our tradition? We will maybe not agree totally that a person should head into the house and just just take my child with no bride cost.

Also, male participants into the study described price that is bride as a product condition for keeping culturally assumed masculine identification and authority in wedding. Having a bride-priced wife ended up being regarded as a masculine achievement.

We additionally unearthed that having to pay the bride price meant there was clearly an implicit obligation that is moral a woman’s component to respect and obey her husband’s commands and desires. Psychologically, an ownership was created by the practice mindset in guys. This might make them see their spouses as their ‘purchase’ over whom they work out unfettered authority, including real and emotional punishment.

For example, a participant that is male that:

I think bride cost is a component associated with the reason why husbands abuse their spouses as it demonstrates that i’ve acquired you from your mother and father or family members so that they understand i need to care for you. Then you must also obey what I say if i take care of you. When the household takes the bride cost, additionally they accept that the lady is with in my care of course any such thing should occur to her they’ll ask me personally.

Additionally, the trade of products and cash for a bride, especially a bride that is high, produced indebtedness into the minds of both the bride and her family members. This suggested that after the spouse mistreated their spouse in wedding, the grouped household felt they couldn’t intervene.

The re payment of bride cost has also been from the perception of women as ‘acquired properties’ over whom males exercise control and authority. On the basis of the participants’ feedback, we discovered that the transactional character associated with the 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 foreign brides feminine subordination in wedding, reviews from the participants proposed 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 clearly was a public sense of ownership for the bride price training among gents and ladies.

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