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Oh tradition you have killed me. 2013 VOF Week 3

Every woman’s dream is to live a happy life. But most women only realize this dream when they are gone. Anita is a young Girl of 21 who found the man of her dreams but because of the high bride price demanded by her African parents, she lost this man. The huge amounts of money parents ask for these days play a role in the domestic abuses that visit our marital homes. Parents are using this as an opportunity to get rich and make up for money that they couldn't make elsewhere. This dowry in some cases is derided as a means to enrich the bride's family. If a man and a woman love each other, why should they need to prove it with expensive symbolism? Anita became frustrated and was exposed. She finally dies of HIV/AIDS ten year later living behind two girls.
Oh tradition you have killed me.
Martha is married and her bride price is paid but she is not happy. Barely a month after her marriage, she was allegedly tortured. She was constantly reminded that she was the man’s property. She then becomes a 'servant' of the buyer; bearing children, providing sex, and performing household chores. She suffers constant harassment in a society where perceptions of women are less productive and the men define the women's place in society.Martha, due to hardship and pain abandons her marriage. She later remarried and had three other children but her first husband claims control of her life and all she owns including the children unless his bride price is refunded. Some years later Martha dies and the two husbands are fighting over her corpse. Finally she is given to her first husband against her wish and her three children also handed over to him. How can tradition deprive a man from his children simply because he didn’t pay the bride price of the woman?
Oh tradition you have killed me.
The mothers of the brides are ridiculed to the background when the traditional rites are performed. The dowry collection is carried out by uncles, in-laws and the bride’s fathers. The mothers are not given any token of appreciation as it called, when they have been the ones responsible for the well being of their children. The essence of the bride price is to make a woman submissive and powerless. It is a shame and should be abolished.
Oh tradition you have killed me.
Traditionally, the prospective husband is expected to give a certain amount of money and goods, including cattle, goats, blankets or cowries shells before a marriage is agreed. In contrast, a token bride price is usually a small symbolic payment made by the groom’s family to the bride’s family. This complex set of norms with the high rate of unemployment and low income level of men has discouraged them from getting married. So many women stay with men who haven’t paid their bride prices and they have children. They easily send them away and even abandoned their responsibility to the women which exposes the woman to many societal ills.
Oh tradition you have killed me.
Does bride price maintains respect for women any longer? If you’re not for sale then join me to say No to the payment of dowry and bride price in Africa. I wish to carry out a project against the highly paid bride price and dowry of women in the Grassfield of Cameroon which has led to the high rate of domestic violence and HIV/AIDS amongst women and girls.
Women and Girls are not for sales

Comments

Debra K Adams MA's picture

yes,I am with you, Adah!

Bride price gives the parents the authority to 'sell' their daughters, reinforcing the myth that women or girls are property. I agree - No More Bride Price in Africa, or anywhere, for that matter! what can I do to help?

"Be the change you want in the world." Gandhi

Debra K. Adams, MA
See my vizify bio! https://www.vizify.com/debra-k-adams-ma-pdv-cws
Survivors In Service: Self Empowerment Strategies (SiSSeS)
Consultant/Speaker/Author & Owner/Founder

Adahmbah's picture

Lets put our heads together

This project is to going be an elaborate one because we have to consult traditional heads of the clans of the grassfield letting them to know that bride price is a hindrance to a healthy marriage institution and a rapid spread to the HIV/AIDS, and women are the most vulnerable. The disadvantages of this ancient culture must be outlined. Modalities and laws must be instituted to regulate the functioning of bride price if it has to re-exist by government authorities. a i want you to help me draft a petition and to establish a link which women can sign to support the campaign of ' Let’s kick out Bride price for good'.So what do you think.
Adah

Debra K Adams MA's picture

doable

this sounds very doable!
I would be honored to assist in drafting your petition and establishing the web presence ....do you have some ideas of what must be included in language of the petition? anything yo have in writing form?
let us do this!!

"Be the change you want in the world." Gandhi

Debra K. Adams, MA
See my vizify bio! https://www.vizify.com/debra-k-adams-ma-pdv-cws
Survivors In Service: Self Empowerment Strategies (SiSSeS)
Consultant/Speaker/Author & Owner/Founder

Thanks again, my mentor, i want us to draft it like this" women are not for sale" Or "women Kick Away Bride Price" or the Kick Away Bride Price campaign.What do you think?
Adah

Debra K Adams MA's picture

research

maybe you could talk to your women supporters and ask them to write down their 1st reason for eliminating bride price. When we get as many as you can gather (maybe 10), we may use their words to include in the petition, what do you think?

also, we might want to look into other 'traditions' around marriage from other countries, nations, villages, or tribes??

for instance one of my cultural traditions around marriage is to 'shower' the newlyweds with gifts to start their new life together, to help them get a good start - not give to the parents. Do you think we may find others traditions such as these to offer as replacement for the bride price?

"Be the change you want in the world." Gandhi

Debra K. Adams, MA
See my vizify bio! https://www.vizify.com/debra-k-adams-ma-pdv-cws
Survivors In Service: Self Empowerment Strategies (SiSSeS)
Consultant/Speaker/Author & Owner/Founder

Ruth Bech's picture

Angry!

That's what I get on behalf of all the Anita's and Martha's and the objects for income in this old system. Tradition is a bitch. I mean it. The dowry system have been all over the world, Africa and Asia are among the places still practicing it. Europeafication of Africa is among the biggest sins committed, and them bringing the dowry tradition with them while stealing the land and the resources down there under the sun must be one of their biggest atrocities done to your continent.
Much love,
Ruth

Together We can stop this dowry tradition
for we are the vitimes and are we dying
while the men are been glorified
.I'm more than hurt and i want it to stop.
Thanks for adding your voice.
Adah

Gabisflanis's picture

Love the rhythm of it.

Got me enchanted. Oh tradition, you have killed me. These words still resound in my head. I'm impressed with your initiative and ideas. Keep up the good work. Love the way you write!

M.G.Alonzo

Adahmbah's picture

Thanks very much my dear

i'm encouraged by your support.
Thanks again Alonzo
Adah

swabhiman's picture

swabhiman/rajendrakumar

dear adahmbah
you are exectely right it is for mostly women but now women stend up for this violence

rajendrakumar

woman stand up and change your world.
Adah

Adahmbah's picture

kick out Bride price

women need to face their traditions for a better woman world.so dear say no to bride price.
Thanks
Adah

courtmiller03's picture

Keep Driving the Conversation

This piece was honest and shed a light on a major issue women face around the world as a result of paying a dowry and the forced submission of brides. It is something that should be discussed more often. Thank you for contributing to the conversation. I hope that by bringing it up and getting people talking about it, you can promote social awareness and influence change.

Courtney Michelle Miller
Digital Communications Strategist and Multimedia Producer
http://courtneymichellemiller.org

Adahmbah's picture

kick out Bride price

This is an issue which has been and is still alive in Afarica. Women are at risk and so something most be done.
so lets kick out Bride price away from our tradition.
Adah

Aminah's picture

"man’s property" I am not

The dowry system "is a shame and should be abolished."
Thank you for sharing your side of the story. I have heard about dowry related cruelties in India.
and it pains me to witness and hear those stories.

Luckily here in the Maldives this problem do not exist. We have something similar though in our Muslim faith. The husband is supposed to give a token gift to the wife. But here this is taken more like a token of love. Women ask for very small amounts and the money is framed nicely and treasured as a gift. I haven't heard any Maldivian man fighting to claim that back.

I wish you all the best in your campaign to eradicate this social issue from Africa.
All women should unite and say I am not for sale.

Salaam
Aminah

Adahmbah's picture

Thanks for your contribution

Thanks Aminah for your contribution and keep the spirit.
This culture and tradition most be amended for the hope and furture of women in Africa.
Adah

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