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just just How price that is‘bride reinforces negative stereotypes: a Ghanaian research study

just just How price that is‘bride 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 own stocks in or get capital from any business or organization that could take advantage 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 100% free, online or in printing, under innovative Commons licence.

Wedding is definitely a organization typical to all or any countries. Really often it is associated with transfers – in many cases in the shape of payments – amongst the groups of the groom while the bride.

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

Historically, bride cost re payment served to validate customary marriages in many societies that are african. It strengthened family that is new developed by marriage and legitimised children created to marriages.

Ghanaian culture has withstood major modifications to its social techniques throughout the years that are past. One which’s modified significantly is bride cost. Into the days of the past, re payment had been a household event. A woman’s bride cost had been compensated by her groom along with his household. Bride cost had not been negotiated: the groom along with his household often decided about what and exactly how much to cover. This could be voluntarily and willingly compensated to your group of the bride.

Before Ghana ended up being colonised by the British in 1867, bride cost would not include cash as money hadn’t yet been introduced to the Ghanaian economy. Alternatively, it included things such as for instance containers of schnapps, ornaments, garments and cowries for the bride’s mom, daddy and brothers.

But times have changed. Bride-to-be price re payment is an even more specific practice. A groom primarily funds the costs of his wedding, though some grouped families nevertheless offer economic support with their sons during wedding.

A far more extreme development is the participation of money and bargaining. The total amount to rigorously be paid is negotiated by the categories of the groom while the bride. The present practice is the fact that groom often requests a listing through the bride’s family members. Although bride cost listings can vary greatly among families and cultural teams in 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 actually additionally taken on a look that is modern. Some families need electronics such as for instance smart phones, laptop computers and iPads as bride cost. A few facets, like the groom’s wealth and status, additionally 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 for the training.

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

We discovered that there have been social and emotional implications regarding the training of bride price. In Ghana having to pay the bride pricing is taken mainly as being a cultural constant that features to be satisfied. But, as our studies have shown, it offers both social and implications that are psychological the guys whom spend and also for the ladies for who it’s 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 talks and in-depth specific interviews with 32 participants, comprised of 16 perpetrators (guys) 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. That is, we classified feminine participants with self-reported experiences of real or abuse that is sexual or both, from current or previous marital partner as victims, and males that has inflicted real or intimate punishment, or both, on an ongoing or previous marital partner as perpetrators.

Our research found that both male and female individuals thought bride cost practice ended up being essential for attaining desired masculinity and femininity in Ghana. Feminine participants saw it as an essential part of womanhood, bestowing respect and dignity in wedding. Guys, on the other side hand, viewed it as a condition that is necessary male identification in culture. Failure to fulfil it might significantly undermine their identity and dominance in marriage.

Individuals advised that this is of women’s identities, and their sense of self-worth in marriage, had been decided by males through the re re payment of bride cost. It had been obvious within our research that bride cost could lead females to seem worthless unless covered, also to be addressed nonetheless a guy desires.

For instance, as a result to whether or otherwise not bride cost practice ought to be proscribed, one participant that is female a rural area stated:

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

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

We additionally discovered that having to pay the bride price meant there clearly was 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 cause them to 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:

In my opinion bride cost is component of this 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 price, additionally they accept that the girl is with within my care and in case such a thing should occur to her they are going to ask me personally.

Additionally, the trade of things and cash for a bride, specially a bride that is high, produced indebtedness within the minds of both the bride along with her household. This implied that after the husband mistreated their wife in wedding, the household felt they couldn’t intervene.

The 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’ opinions, we discovered 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, commentary through the individuals recommended that the training is certainly not regarded by ladies in Ghana as demeaning it does not offend any communal morality or societal ethos because they think. There clearly was a public feeling of ownership of the bride cost training among gents and ladies.

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