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

exactly exactly 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 very own stocks in or get money from any business or organization that could take advantage of this short article, and contains disclosed no appropriate affiliations beyond their educational visit.

The discussion UK gets funding from all of these organisations

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

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Marriage is a organization typical to any or all countries. Extremely often it is followed by transfers – in many instances in the shape of payments – involving the grouped groups of the groom in addition to bride.

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

Historically, bride cost re re payment served to validate customary marriages in many African societies. It strengthened brand new family members bonds developed by marriage and legitimised kids created to marriages.

Ghanaian culture has encountered major modifications to its social techniques on the years that are past. One which’s modified significantly is bride cost. When you look at the past, re payment ended up being a family group event. A woman’s bride price ended up being compensated by her groom along with his household. Bride cost had not been negotiated: the groom along with his family members often decided about what and just how much to pay for. This might be voluntarily and willingly paid to your group of the bride.

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

But times have actually changed. Bride-to-be price re payment is actually 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 much more extreme development is the participation of money and bargaining. The quantity to rigorously be paid is negotiated by the groups of the groom therefore the bride. The present training is that the groom frequently requests a listing through the bride’s family members. Although bride cost listings can vary greatly among families and groups that are ethnic Ghana, many listings consist of things such as for instance containers of schnapps, ornaments, garments and cash for the bride`s mother, daddy and brothers.

Those items in the need list have additionally taken on a look that is modern. Some families need electronics such as for instance cell phones, laptop computers and iPads as bride cost. A few factors, such as the groom’s wealth and status, while the bride’s amount of education, decide how much a groom will pay as bride cost.

Although bride price customized has significant social and functions that are social you will find latent, unrecognised and unintended effects of this training.

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

We discovered that there have been psychological and social implications regarding the practice of bride cost. In Ghana having to pay the bride pricing is taken mainly as being a cultural constant that has to be satisfied. But, as our studies have shown, it offers 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 focus that is semi-structured conversations and in-depth specific interviews with 32 participants, consists of 16 perpetrators (guys) and 16 victims (women) 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 previous 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 study 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, regarding the other hand, viewed it as being a condition that is necessary male identification in culture. Failure to fulfil it could significantly undermine their identification and dominance in wedding.

Individuals proposed that this is of women’s identities, and their sense of self-worth in marriage, had been dependant on males through the re re payment of bride cost. It absolutely was obvious inside our research that bride cost could lead ladies to show up worthless unless covered, and also to be treated nevertheless a person wishes.

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

No. How do we abolish our tradition? We shall perhaps perhaps perhaps not concur that a person should head into the house and simply simply simply take my child with out a bride cost.

Additionally, male participants into the study described bride-to-be cost tradition as a product condition for keeping culturally thought masculine identity and authority in wedding. Having a bride-priced spouse had been regarded as a masculine success.

We also unearthed that spending the bride price meant there was clearly an implicit obligation that is moral a woman’s component to respect and https://ukrainian-wife.net 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 as their ‘purchase’ over whom they work out unfettered authority, including physical and emotional punishment.

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

In my opinion bride price is a component associated with 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. After the family members takes the bride cost, in addition they accept that the girl is within my care and when any such thing should occur to her they’ll ask me personally.

Additionally, the change of products and cash for a bride, particularly a high bride price, developed indebtedness within the minds of both the bride and her family members. This designed that after the spouse mistreated his spouse in wedding, the grouped household 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 control and authority. In line with the participants’ reviews, we unearthed that the character that is transactional of training could ‘objectify’ and ‘commoditise’ feamales in wedding.

Feeling of ownership

Though our study showed that bride cost tradition could reinforce negative stereotypes about male domination and female subordination in wedding, reviews from the individuals proposed that the training isn’t 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 for the bride cost training among gents and ladies.

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