dowry

(redirected from dowries)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Legal.

dowry

(dou`rē), the property that a woman brings to her husband at the time of the marriage. The dowry apparently originated in the giving of a marriage gift by the family of the bridegroom to the bride and the bestowal of money upon the bride by her parents. It has been a well-established institution among the propertied classes of various lands and times, e.g., in ancient Greece and Rome, India, medieval Europe, and modern continental countries. Generally the husband has been compelled to return the dowry in case of divorce or the death of the wife when still childless. One purpose of the dowry was to provide support for the wife on the husband's death, and thus it was related remotely to the rights of dowerdower,
that portion of a deceased husband's real property that a widow is legally entitled to use during her lifetime to support herself and their children. A wife may claim the dower if her husband dies without a will or if she dissents from the will.
..... Click the link for more information.
. In civil-law countries the dowry is an important form of property. In England and the United States (except for Louisiana), the dowry system is not recognized as law.

Dowry

 

property—in the form of money, objects, real estate, or other assets—allotted to a bride by her parents or relatives upon her marriage. The custom arose during the period of the decline of the clan system, when monogamous marriage emerged. The dowry was originally an allotment from the common property of the clan, and it continued to be considered the property of the clan after a woman’s marriage. When a woman died childless, her dowry reverted to her clan. As the patriarchal social order became stronger, the dowry first represented the joint property of the married couple but later was usually the sole property of the husband.

The dowry survives and plays an important role in bourgeois marriage. In most capitalist countries, legislation gives the husband the right of sole control over the family’s property, including the wife’s dowry. The dowry has lost its significance in the USSR. It is retained among an insignificant portion of the population, chiefly rural, and is not subject to legal regulation.

dowry

Christianity a sum of money required on entering certain orders of nuns
References in periodicals archive ?
He says that those who agree that the price of dowries should be decreased, have pointed to this hadith as a justification for the necessity of maintaining the dowry system, even if it is reduced.
105) illustrate that "marriages between different castes normally forbidden but in these marriages the condition is that the parent of the women paid the huge dowries to acknowledge her rise in status".
Long before the collapse, the government tried to help out poorer families with government support for dowries.
Latifa Sultani, women's rights coordinator for AIHRC (Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission) believes exorbitant dowries and weddings contribute to the violence against women.
Omani weddings can cost 30,000 rials while dowries reach up to 15,000 rials.
Judge Kavuma noted that although some men misuse the dowry system, even in marriages where dowries are unknown and never practiced, violence against women is rampant the world over.
Although it was once thought and is still suggested that improvements in women's education and employment opportunities would eradicate dowries, this has not occurred.
The computer software engineering student has since been praised as a role model and been flooded with fresh marriage proposals - without dowries.
A spokesman said police forces throughout the UK were being warned of British-born Indian men travelling to the sub-continent for marriage before abandoning their brides and making off with 'quite substantial' dowries.
These were the chests that contained the most important part of the dowries in the form of valuable embroidery, textiles and even the jewellery brought from the parent's house to her new home.
Every year in India, some 6,000 newly wed brides--and perhaps as many as 15,000--are murdered or driven to suicide in disputes over their dowries, reports Mandelbaum, a journalist and novelist.