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Book Chapter

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SAGE publications


The Dowry Prohibition Act enacted on July 1, 1961, in India prohibits the giving or receiving of a dowry. The law defines a dowry as property or valuable security given by either party to the marriage, or by the parents of either party, or by anyone else, in connection with the marriage. The original text of the Dowry Prohibition Act was found to be ineffective in curbing the practice of dowry. In addition specific forms of violence against women, linked to a failure to meet dowry demands, created a need for more stringent prohibitions than those available under existing law. As a result, legislative advocacy changes were made to the language of the Dowry Prohibition Act and other important sections of the Indian Penal Code to protect female victims of dowry-related violence. Despite these laws, the practice of dowry persists in India today and can be found in varying degrees within several communities and socioeconomic groups.

Chapter of

Encyclopedia of Gender and Society


Copyright © 2009 SAGE publications. Reprinted with permission.



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