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School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan



To assess the pattern, demand and opinion of dowry among women in urban Karachi, Pakistan and their perceived negative consequences of dowry. Setting: Pakistan is a low income country, predominantly Muslim, with around 190 million inhabitants. Karachi is the biggest city with roughly 13 million inhabitants.


Qualitative study, using content analysis of five focus group discussions with women. Results: The theme “Dowry practices and their consequences” emerged, along with five categories and 14 subcategories, describing the “burden of dowry”, “dowry in society”, “dowry problems created by parents-in-law”, “negative consequences of dowry practice” and “good intentions”.


Problems due to dowry practices are something which women of all socioeconomic classes in Karachi are aware of. A number of negative consequences of these practices create a current, pressing problem in Karachi society. These consequences affect women’s status and their possibilities to grow and educate themselves. It seems that change is being brought on slowly, following the country’s development and increasing educational level of the younger generation. Awareness of dowry issues needs to be raised and steps need to be taken to speed up this process of change by empowering women and ensuring equality in Pakistan.

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Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.