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

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 money from any organization or organization that could take advantage of this short article, and it has disclosed no appropriate affiliations beyond their scholastic visit.

The discussion UK gets funding from the organisations

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Wedding can be an organization typical to any or all countries. Really often it is followed closely by transfers – in many instances in the type of payments – involving the categories of the groom therefore the bride.

These re payments may be categorised into two: bride and dowry price. The dowry, more prevalent in parts of asia, involves re re payments produced by the bride to your groom and their household. Bride-to-be price, having said that, means the re re payments that a groom that is prospective his household make to a potential bride and her household. It’s a rather typical social training in Africa.

Historically, bride cost re re payment served to validate customary marriages generally in most African communities. It strengthened family that is new developed by marriage and legitimised young ones created to marriages.

Ghanaian society has withstood major changes to its social methods throughout the years that are past. One which’s modified significantly is bride cost. Within the days of the past, re re payment ended up being a family group event. A woman’s bride cost had been compensated by her groom along with his family members. Bride cost had not been negotiated: the groom and their household mail order bride catalog often decided about what and just how much to pay for. This could be voluntarily and willingly compensated towards the group of the bride.

Before Ghana was colonised because of the British in 1867, bride cost failed to include money as money hadn’t yet been introduced to the Ghanaian economy. Alternatively, it included items such as for instance containers of schnapps, ornaments, clothes and cowries for the bride’s mom, dad and brothers.

But times have actually changed. Bride-to-be price re payment is now a far more specific practice. A groom primarily funds the costs of their wedding, while some families nevertheless offer monetary support for 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. Although bride cost listings can vary among families and groups that are ethnic Ghana, many lists consist of things such as for example containers of schnapps, ornaments, garments and money for the bride`s mother, dad and brothers.

The things regarding the need list have actually additionally taken for a look that is modern. Some families need gadgets such as for example cellphones, laptop computers and iPads as bride price. A few facets, such as 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 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 re payment shapes cultural and gender husband-to-wife and identity punishment in Ghana.

We discovered that there were social and emotional implications associated with practice of bride cost. In Ghana spending the bride pricing is taken mainly being a cultural constant that includes to be satisfied. But, as our studies have shown, it’s both social and implications that are psychological the guys whom spend and also for the females for who it really is paid.

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, composed of 16 perpetrators (males) and 16 victims (ladies) from rural and urban Ghana. The individuals ages that are from 24 to 60.

Our category had been in line with the individuals’ self-reported experiences. This is certainly, we classified feminine participants with self-reported experiences of real or abuse that is sexual or both, from present or previous marital partner as victims, and males that has inflicted real or sexual punishment, or both, on an ongoing or previous marital partner as perpetrators.

Our research discovered that both male and participants that are female bride cost practice ended up being needed 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 being a necessary condition for male identification in culture. Failure to fulfil it might greatly undermine their dominance and identity in marriage.

Individuals suggested that the meaning of women’s identities, and their sense of self-worth in marriage, had been based on males through the re payment of bride cost. It had been obvious within our research that bride price could lead ladies to seem worthless unless taken care of, also to be addressed but a person wishes.

As an example, in response to whether or perhaps not bride cost practice must certanly be proscribed, one female participant from a rural area stated:

No. Just how can we abolish our tradition? We shall perhaps perhaps not concur that a guy should head into the house and just simply just take my child with no bride price.

Additionally, male participants into the study described bride-to-be cost tradition as 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 was clearly an implicit moral responsibility on a woman’s component to respect and obey her husband’s commands and desires. Psychologically, the training created an ownership mindset in guys. This might cause them to see their spouses as their ‘purchase’ over whom they work out unfettered authority, including real and abuse that is psychological.

As an example, a participant that is male that:

I really believe 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 cost, in addition they accept that the girl is within my care if any such thing should occur to her they are going to ask me personally.

Additionally, the change of items and cash for a bride, specially a bride that is high, developed indebtedness into the minds of both the bride and her family. This designed that after the spouse mistreated their spouse in wedding, the household felt they couldn’t intervene.

The re re payment of bride cost has also been from the perception of women as ‘acquired properties’ over whom males work out authority and control. On the basis of the participants’ reviews, we found that the character that is transactional of training could ‘objectify’ and ‘commoditise’ ladies 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, responses through the individuals advised that the training just 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 clearly was a public feeling of ownership associated with the bride price training among gents and ladies.


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