Dowry is a cultural practice in which the bride’s family pays a certain amount of money or property to the groom’s family at the time of marriage.

Although dowry has been a part of many cultures for centuries, it has been the subject of much debate and controversy.

While some people argue that dowry is a necessary and important part of marriage, others argue that it is a harmful practice that can have adverse effects on individuals and society as a whole.

In this article, we will explore the negative effects of dowry.

1. Financial burden on the bride’s family

One of the most significant negative effects of dowry is its financial burden on the bride’s family. In many cases, families are forced to take out loans or sell their property to meet the demands of the groom’s family.

This can lead to financial hardship, debt, and poverty for the bride’s family, which can have long-term consequences for their well-being.

2. Gender discrimination

Dowry is often seen as a transaction in which the bride’s family is expected to pay the groom’s family for taking on the responsibility of the bride.

This transactional view of marriage reinforces gender discrimination and reinforces the idea that women are inferior to men.

It can also contribute to the perpetuation of harmful gender stereotypes and practices, such as domestic violence and female infanticide.

Increased risk of domestic violence

Dowry can also increase the risk of domestic violence.

When dowry is seen as a transaction, the groom’s family may feel entitled to mistreat the bride or her family if they are dissatisfied with the amount of dowry paid.

This can result in physical, emotional, and psychological abuse, which can have a devastating impact on the bride’s health and wellbeing.

Reduced opportunities for education and career

In many cases, families who pay dowry prioritize marriage over education and career opportunities for their daughters.

This can limit the potential of girls and women, and can perpetuate cycles of poverty and inequality. When girls are not given equal access to education and career opportunities, they are less likely to achieve economic independence and may be more vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

Negative impact on mental health

The pressure to pay dowry can have a significant impact on the mental health of both the bride and her family.

The financial burden, social pressure, and expectations can lead to stress, anxiety, and depression. In some cases, the stress can be so severe that it leads to suicide.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, there were 7,098 dowry deaths in India in 2016. Hence the dowry system must be stopped.


In conclusion, dowry is a harmful practice that has negative effects on individuals and society as a whole.

It places a significant financial burden on the bride’s family, reinforces gender discrimination, increases the risk of domestic violence, limits opportunities for education and career, and has a negative impact on mental health.

It is important for society to recognize the harmful effects of dowry and work towards eliminating this harmful practice.

This can be achieved through education, awareness campaigns, and legal reforms that address the root causes of dowry and provide support for those affected by this practice.