Bride Price: Modern Day Female Enslavement? Essay examples

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In the western world, it is common for a little girl to imagine herself walking down the aisle in a beautiful white gown and her father at her side ready to hand her over into the hands of the man of her dreams. However, in Sub-Saharan African societies like Ghana and Uganda, girls dream of the day when a man, along with his family, will come to her father’s house and propose a bride price to perform the traditional marriage rights. Bride price according to Gita Sen is problematic in that it is defined as a payment made by a prospective husband to the family of a woman he wishes to marry (Sen). From Sen’s definition, it is evident that bride price not only highlights the dominance of patriarchy in African societies but emphasizes the…show more content…
From my experience as a Ghanaian, a woman, especially in the rural area, has little to no control on who she marries. This is because in these societies, depending on the number of men who offer a bride price in exchange for the woman, the woman is married off to the highest ‘bidder’. This act indeed is one of objectification. Isabella Gyau Orhin’s article “High Bride Price Aiding Marital Violence”, calls to attention that with objectification comes possession and as such when a woman is objectified she is eventually viewed as a possession. Orhin quotes Commissioner Short of the Department of Human and Administrative Justice when he says “In the Ghanaian society where bride price is unsympathetically high, the man after painfully paying this price is likely to treat the wife more as a possession than a partner in marriage.”(Orhin). This statement clearly underlines the fact that after bride price has been paid to the bride’s family, she not only is objectified but also becomes a possession of her husband and his family. According to Miria Matemba in her note on “Relationship between Domestic Violence and Bride price” during the International Conference on Bride Price, she explained that after paying a high bride price for a woman, men think that they have property rights over their wives since they made payments in exchange for them and in turn ‘bought’ them like they would any item form a shop (Matembe). From my perspective, when a woman is

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