By Deng Marop Deng
Dowry or bride price is commonly practiced in most African societies, and defenses have been given to this inhuman act. If we look deeply into this practice, it’s a perfect definition of trade. Goods and services have been exchanged, and still, people argue that it is not trading. The terminology used even stands as a witness to the evil deed. The term price refers to the relative value of a commodity as expressed in the monetary term, so there is no joke bride price is a business—this what allowed men to act as they want since women are their own properties.
In this article, we will see the consequences of bride price in South Sudan; below are why we should stop it in South Sudan.
- DOMESTIC VIOLENCE
Domestic violence is defined as a pattern of abusive behavior in any relationship used by one partner to gain or maintain control over another intimate partner. It is well known in South Sudan that most domestic violence causes are dowry-related. Every man who has got a wife thinks a wife is a working machine.
In Uganda, when you ask a man beating his wife, he replies that I’m beating my cow; likewise, women are badly beaten in South Sudan, knowing no one should ask you when you kill your property. I have been hearing people saying I can beat you to death, but no one can ask me because I pay for everything.
If our government needs a peaceful society, it should stop the bride price immediately because men own women as property after paying dowry. I know men who have killed their wives knowing no law can come against them because they have already paid a ‘”murdering fee” as dowry.
- INTERCOMMUNAL WARS
Almost all states in South Sudan are in serious tribal conflicts, and if we ask ourselves, what are the causes of these wars. According to the analysis I did, the answers can be different; 95% are cattle-related.
Why is it that cattle are the problem? In South Sudan, especially those that pay more dowry, the children are born with the mentality that one day you will marry, but with a dowry, and when this is imposed on a kid’s mind, this makes them find ways to get the dowry.
Most of these kids grow up to become cattle rustlers to afford the bride price.
Most of the raiding happening across South Sudan is being done by youth struggling to buy their wives. It’s even culture to others that you can’t get married when you didn’t raid any cow. For Intercommunal wars to stop, the government should first abolish bride price, and the youth will be free from the burden of dowry and think of cattle less important since cattle value will get low. No youth will accept to go and die after cows of no more benefits. I strongly recommend this as a solution to whosoever will read this article. If we need a better South Sudan as a youth, let us stand up against the dowry system.
- SLAVERY OF WOMAN
South Sudanese women are the most suffering because of dowry; they have been made like a beast of burden and force to be working machines at their homes. This act has turned women into slaves in their own homes and made as productive machines; women who fail to give birth are mistreated and considered as losses to their husbands. I know people who have divorced their wives because of no production. Let free women from long-coated slavery for centuries. In my next article, I will talk about forced marriage, daughters’ investment by their parents, etc. Share this article as you read it to create awareness, and you will highly be appreciated.