Negative Effects of Arranged Marriage

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According to the 2010 Census of India, there are 236,772,617 females married. 40 percent of these women are in ages between 25 and 29. And, 85 percent of these marriages are arranged. In arranged marriage there is no dating, premarital sex, living together, or even physical interaction. Sheela, J. an expert for the United Nations writes that “according to the Hindu Dharma sutras, the father should give away his daughter while she still nagnika (naked)”.” This means that as soon as the parents of the eligible man is ready to get marry, his parents look for a family of the same religion, caste, social status and class with a daughter that could fit the requirements of the family. Sheela also explains the significance of the dowry in Indian culture, “The term “dowry” alludes to gifts in cash or kind giving to the husband and his relatives by the wife and her relatives in connection of marriage.” In 1961, the Dowry Prohibition Act was created to prevent the abuse and injustice in women cause by dowry disputes between families. In this act, the definition of dowry is clearly defined to include property or valuable security given in connection of marriage. This law however does not exclude voluntary gifts given to the couple in connection to marriage, i.e. present given voluntary to the couple. Abigail, Lavin reports in her article for The Weekly Standard that “the India’s National Crime Record Bureau reports one dowry death every 77 minutes”. These dowry deaths, also called “kitchen accidents” are disputes over dowry, dowry transactions, and dowry insufficient. This means that even if the Indian constitution states that the practice of dowry is illegal, society still practice it. However, the recently enacted Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act (PWDVA) was brought into force in 2006. This act derived from the United Nations and is considered a civil law to prevent violence against women and to protect them by making their human rights count and be valid. The act recognizes a woman’s right to a violence free home and provides protection in cases where this right is being violated. Women in India are being used as objects in transactions called “marriage”. As a result their Human Rights are violated as well as the “Protection of Women from Domestic Violence Act” and finally, they are socially and culturally alienated. The Universal Declaration of Human Rights adopted in 1948 by the United Nations clearly states on its first article that “all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”. Women in India are being deprived of this right. As soon as they get married, they are to move in with the family-in-law. There, women become part of their family; they should be obedient and devoted to their husband. In marriage, women’s rights are not the same as men’s. According to Wolpert, Stanley, “the roles of woman include being beautiful and gentle, considering her husband as her god and serve him as such”, to this definition was added “the production of children” to her duties. Article 16 explains about the right of men and women of full age, without any limitation, have the right to marry and found a family. Also, that they are to equal rights, during marriage and its dissolution. Women are being private of this right when they are sent off to an arranged marriage. Women do not have the freedom to choose their love life partners. They are expected to completely uproot themselves from their parental family. And their behavior is expected to be according to the new family. They are never free to choose their own personality. Article 19 gives the right to freedom of opinion and expression. But as Wolpert writes in his article for the University of California, “woman should be obedient, be devoted to the father and mother of her husband.” Article 4 indicates that no one shall be held in slavery or servitude. Nonetheless, most Indian women remain subservient to their closest male...
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