The Supreme Court has defined a woman’s dowry (Jahez) as her personal property. Will this help change archaic mindsets or will we devise other, (sneakier) ways to demand gifts from our daughter inlaw’s family? The battle against Jahez might be won, but only half way there, so far. We’ll tell you why.
After unending appeals & sponsored anti-Jahez campaigns to throw light on a prejudiced practice that has taken lives, livelihoods & perpetuated horrific domestic crimes, women are finally set free, at least by the law. Let’s see how long it takes for mindsets to follow through after the Supreme Court ruling
Der Aaye Lekin Durust Aaye, however, it’s easier to change the law than to change mindsets.
The Supreme Court Ruling
The Pakistan Supreme Court has ruled that bridal gifts remain wife’s property & cannot be taken away.
- Gifts given to the bride at the time of marriage are her personal property, and they cannot be taken away from her, according to Sharia law.
2. Husbands should make an inheritance will for their wives.
3. “A woman’s right to inherit from her parents and husband is clearly defined in [Islamic law].” Justice Isa
Here’s Why The Jahez Battle Will Still Wage On
The story sometimes continues to the time when the first child is born, and the girl’s family is expected to cough up presents, sometimes jewelry as well, for the mother in law (or the new dadi). It goes without saying, that our society works on the peripherals of the law and we manage to extricate ourselves from the final judgement by justifying traditions rather being mindful of the law.
What is the solution?
Perhaps families of influence need to set a standard that shuns unnecessary and lavish gifts, perhaps parents with daughters must stand their ground and give their daughter the self esteem to value themselves rather than the material belongings they carry with them to their husband’s home – perhaps it is a long struggle yet – perhaps young men need to tell their families they will not accept any material gain from their wife’s family, perhaps it is our youth that will eventually change mindsets.
Tell us … Do you think declaring Jahez as the wife’s legal property rather than banning it altogether is a smarter way to bring about change? Will it determine potential in laws from demanding it? Or will we find new ways of devaluing our daughters?