Bride Burning: A Global Problem
Bride burning is a form of domestic violence that is practiced mainly in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh. It is estimated that many hundreds, and probably thousands, of brides are killed in this way each year. However bride burning is traditionally under-reported so it is very difficult to determine the exact figures. In all the countries concerned, government action is being taken to try to limit the number of bride burning deaths each year, but the problem is that in some remote regions this is a fairly common practice to which many locals turn a blind eye. Occasionally, bride burning happens among resettled Indian, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities in other parts of the world, including the UK. Although illegal even in the countries where it is most common, bride burning is not only still extremely common, it is also thought to be occurring with increasing frequency in some parts of the world. Bride burning is most typically a form of dowry murder, where a husband and his family murder a woman because her family has refused to pay an increased dowry (or in some cases has reneged on a previous dowry arrangement). When this happens, one of the most common ways of 'getting rid' of the bride is to douse her in petrol and set fire to her. Women subjected to this type of attack almost never survive, but it is clearly a horrific death and has been the subject of a number of campaigns in recent years. However, because bride burning is seen as a traditional way of getting rid of an unwanted bride in some parts of the world (even where divorce is an option), many families simply report that the woman has been killed by an 'exploding stove' and there is no further investigation (BBC). In India, the country that seems most affected by bride burning, attempts have been made to outlaw the practice. In 1961, the Dowry Prohibition Act was passed in an attempt to outlaw dowries altogether, although this has been only marginally...
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