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Curbing dowry practices: an anti-poverty imperative

Briefing/policy papers

It has been recognised that dowry in South Asia hinders women’s empowerment and can serve as a cause of violence against women. A recent study in Bangladesh highlights that dowries also have serious economic repercussions, with families identifying dowry payment as a leading cause of impoverishment.

This policy brief also looks at the need for public policy aimed at ameliorating the negative social effects of dowry to take the economic consequences of unaffordable dowry into account, and dowry-focused policies should feature as part of broader poverty reduction strategies. There is a need to go beyond official policy and find innovative ways of addressing the negative socio-economic effects of dowry, both at the local and national levels.

Kathryn Bach, Peter Davis