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|Title: ||The effect of bride wealth on the status of women in marriage: case study of Iteso ethnic group in Kumi District, Uganda|
|Authors: ||Asekenye, Leah Margaret Okurut|
|Keywords: ||Bride price|
|Issue Date: ||17-Feb-2010 |
|Abstract: ||While Iteso ethnic group have experienced wars, insurgency and cattle rustling which intensified in 1990s and affected their lives, beliefs, values and customs particularly bride wealth, there was inadequate knowledge of how bride wealth has affected the lives of women in marriage. A number of researches had been done on bride wealth in various districts in Uganda but, little research was done among Iteso. The main focus of this study therefore was first to establish the present state of bride wealth in Teso by analyzing the types of goods which Iteso use as bride wealth and changes in bride wealth from the year 1990 to 2006, then establish how bride wealth currently affects the lives of women in marriage. Key variables of the study which were used to assess women’s status included; freedom to marry, ability to divorce, control of resources, control of sexuality, control of reproduction and respect given to women in marriage.
The study was done in Kumi district in Kapir sub-county and it was a cross sectional study involving women and men in different categories of bride wealth status (married with bride wealth and in marital relations without bride wealth). Both quantitative and qualitative approaches were used and the sample comprised 72 respondents who participated in semi structured interviews, 4 FGDs from 2 parishes comprising 9 discussants and 7 key informants.
The findings of the study revealed that cattle rustling, wars and insurgency have had profound effect on the institution of bride wealth in Teso. The effects range from decline in amounts of goods to changes in the composition of bride wealth goods from what was traditionally recognized as bride wealth in Teso. Changes in composition of goods include; increased use of money only as bride wealth, use of goods from other cultures, use of domestic animals which are forbidden by the culture of Iteso and change in bride wealth patterns where marriages these days commence before bride wealth payment.
Consequently bride wealth has varying effects on the status of women in marriage depending on the amount and types of goods used as bride wealth. Effects include; lack of respect in marriage, lack of ability to control resources, reproduction and sexuality in marriage. However, other factors particularly young age, low levels of education, lack of employment/income economic dependency on husbands, religious principles, cultural values, inadequate gender awareness and laws also play significant role in determining the status of women in marriage.
It was therefore recommended that government should invest in gender awareness programs in order to change the traditional attitudes towards bride wealth and to improve women’s knowledge of their rights. Besides, government should improve the implementation of existing laws so as to give women adequate protection. More emphasis should be put on educational opportunities for women and government should empower women economically through provision of skills, knowledge, new technology and income generating projects|
|Description: ||A Dissertation submitted to the School of Graduate Studies in partial fulfillment of the requirement for the award of the Master of Arts degree in Gender Studies of Makerere University.|
|Appears in Collections:||Theses & Dissertations (SS)|
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