Document Type



School of Nursing and Midwifery, Pakistan


Objective: To understand the perceptions of women about the influence of dowry customs on their marital life and on intimate partner violence.
Methods: The cross-sectional study was conducted in Karachi between 2008 to 2010, and comprised married women of reproductive age. Data was collected through a valid World Health Organisation questionnaire which was validated for the local context after translation into Urdu. Data was analysed using SPSS 10.
Results: Of the 810 women approached, 759(93.7%) formed the final sample. Of them, 447(59%) women and 307(40.4%) of the husbands were aged 25-35 years. Women in arranged marriages involving dowry transaction reported more positive marital outcomes (adjusted odds ratio: 11.5). Consenting to a marriage was positively associated with positive marital life (adjusted odds ratio: 36.8), and the same was the case when the marriage was contingent on dowry transaction (adjusted odds ratio: 10.4). Provision of a dowry, however, was not protective from physical (adjusted odds ratio: 3.7), sexual (adjusted odds ratio: 3.7) or psychological violence (adjusted odds ratio: 8.9).
Conclusions: Dowry practices exist in Pakistani culture despite the fact that dowry wives were found to have no protection against intimate partner violence. However, women perceived that the provision of dowry to groom's family had a positive impact on marital life.

Publication (Name of Journal)

JPMA. The Journal of the Pakistan Medical Association