Mahr is not Bride Price

Letter to the editor, Guardian Newspapers UK In the UK this week (16 August) the Guardian Newspaper reported on a ‘Landmark UK court ruling due in “bride price” dispute’. It involves the case where by a woman has taken her ex-husband and his parents to court seeking full payment of her mahr. The two terms ‘bride price’ and ‘Mahr’ should not be used interchangeably as they are of significant cultural difference. In Africa Bride price is the payment of cows or cash to the parents of the bride in order to secure marriage. It is typically paid at or before marriage and the husband typically demands its refund upon the dissolution of marriage, however many years the marriage has last, that is until recently (Aug 2015) when in a landmark ruling in the Supreme Court of Uganda outlawed bride price refund, thanks to MIFUMI, a UK based charity and Women’s Rights agency, that campaigned against the practice because of its oppressive nature to women. Mahr on the other hand, is a direct commitment to the wife by the husband, and the payment is usually invoked by the bride upon dissolution of marriage. It acts as a form of security for women during marriage – in which case, it is a good thing for women. Dr Atuki Turner Executive Director MIFUMI @byameliahill @SBSisters  

1 thought on “Mahr is not Bride Price”

  1. Lucy Mary Athieno

    Weldon Mifumi! Mahr is indeed a good thing to the women as opposed to the bride price which is in fact a business as many parents still trade their daughters for cows, goats, chicken and if the marriage fails, the cows or goats are demanded by the man’s parents/relatives and her contributions in the marriage are never considered.
    This has left many woman no choice but to remain in abusive marriages because the price was eaten long time ago and there is nothing left to refund.
    I think the next thing Mifumi can do is to educate the people about the Supreme court rulling that outlawed the demand of bride price.

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