13.5 million girls remain unmarried due to lack of dowry; Punjab Assembly told

LAHORE   -  The treasury members on Friday called for an end to the menace of dowry after it was revealed in the Punjab Assemblythat 13.5 million women in the country remain unmarried due to the lack of dowries.  During the Zero Hour, Ahsan Raza Khan of the PML-N revealed that 13.5 million girls remained unmarried and were sitting at home as their parents could not give them dowry.

Declaring the dowry a societal scourge, Ahsan told the House that India had passed a law making the giving and taking of dowries a crime. He also recalled that Mian Shahbaz Sharif imposed a restriction on serving more than one dish at weddings, a decision which enabled poor girls to get married.  Ahsan Raza emphasized the need for a ban on dowries and their display highlighting that the inheritance law ensures a daughter’s share, but the obsession with giving cars as dowry is driving the poor to suicide.

The treasury member pointed out that 80 of the population consists of laborers earning 32,000 rupees a month. Such a person has to choose between enrolling his daughter in school or saving for her dowry, he said, adding that owing to the stress of arranging dowry, fathers commit suicide upon the birth of a daughter.

Minister for Bait-ul-Mal and Social Welfare Sohail Shaukat Butt also condemned dowry as a societal curse and  stated that dowry is a social evil and revolutionary steps are needed to eradicate it.He noted that dowry causes various problems for the nation’s daughters and leads to the blackmailing of parents. The minister assured the House that his department will introduce a law to shield daughters from dowry-related issues.

He guaranteed that by enacting this law, the society will be cleansed of the dowry curse, allowing daughters to move to their marital homes after marriage.

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