Home Blog  Socio-Economic Factors and Dowry Practices in India

 Socio-Economic Factors and Dowry Practices in India: An Ongoing Struggle

Author- Surbhi Agrawal, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Law, Kalinga University, Raipur.


Dowry, a deep-rooted cultural practice in India, continues to plague society despite the existence of laws for nearly half a century. Despite efforts to eradicate this harmful tradition, dowry-related cases are reported daily, with many more going unregistered. This article delves into the socio-economic factors contributing to the persistence of dowry practices in India and examines the challenges faced in its eradication.

The Cultural Phenomenon:

While dowry cannot be considered a true cultural norm, it has become deeply ingrained in Indian society. In some instances, brides’ lives are at risk if their groom’s family deems the dowry insufficient. Despite marriage being an auspicious occasion, it has become an expensive affair for the bride’s family. The burden of dowry remains with the bride throughout her life, making it a pressing concern for families, especially those who desire to provide their daughters with an education and financial independence.

In modern India, there is a growing trend of men seeking educated and financially independent women as partners. However, paradoxically, the demand for dowry persists even in such cases. From a girl’s perspective, the weight of dowry expectations follows her throughout her life. While women strongly support the education of their daughters, societal pressures still compel them to marry at an early age, partly to avoid exorbitant dowry costs.

Financial Disparity and Its Consequences:

Financial stability plays a crucial role in determining whether the bride’s family can meet dowry demands. If the family is financially well-off, they may be able to provide the dowry, supposedly ensuring a happy married life for their daughter. However, if the bride’s family lacks financial resources and refuses to give dowry, it can lead to significant problems in her married life. Delaying the marriage or marrying at a slightly older age often escalates dowry demands, particularly if the groom is a government employee.

A Cultural Stigma:

Despite several laws in place to abolish the dowry system, it ultimately falls on the bride’s family to take a stand against it. In Indian society, daughters are often seen as a source of family prestige. Failing to marry them at a suitable age can be perceived as a dent in the family’s reputation. Consequently, only a small percentage of people actively resist dowry, typically after witnessing ill-treatment of their daughters or tragically, following their daughter’s death.




The persistence of dowry practices in India stems from deeply entrenched socio-economic factors and cultural beliefs. The struggle to eradicate this harmful tradition continues, despite the existence of laws for decades. Efforts should focus on empowering women economically, promoting education and awareness, and challenging societal norms that perpetuate dowry demands. Only by collectively addressing these issues can India hope to eliminate this practice and create a society that values gender equality and the well-being of its citizens.







Kalinga Plus is an initiative by Kalinga University, Raipur. The main objective of this to disseminate knowledge and guide students & working professionals.
This platform will guide pre – post university level students.
Pre University Level – IX –XII grade students when they decide streams and choose their career
Post University level – when A student joins corporate & needs to handle the workplace challenges effectively.
We are hopeful that you will find lot of knowledgeable & interesting information here.
Happy surfing!!

  • Free Counseling!