For me dowry means anything which is demanded and given unwillingly. But i dont consider anything and everything given to daughters as dowry, because daughter or son , parents give it to both, whereas sons always get the major part( and this is also justified because traditionally son bore all the duties and took responsibility of the parents), daughters get something as a part of gifts given to them on different occasions,.Dont the parents of a boy also do a lot for couple? so why this discrimination when it comes to girls.
Dowry system cant be abolished by girls saying we wont let our parent s give anything, for this to be effective, girls will have to also sacrifice something. Whenever there is a choice between two matrimonial candidates where both are equally qualified but one is from a rich family and other from a poor...no girl will go for the poor one, and it becomes a case of demand and supply.
girls dont want their parents to give anything any marriage, but wants their inlaws to give them expensive sarees and jewellery and sometimes dont give due importance to their gifts. It all comes down to values...till we value everything for the sentiments not for the price, till we find that virtues are more important than money, these systems will remain there however we may try, because we havent changed our mindsets, we are protesting what is convenient for us,its not important for a daughter's parents to say that they dont believe in dowry, but for a son's parent to realise. I read in a comment....The girls come to the groom leaving their family and all.behind....helloooooooo? now.a days no girl leaves behind anything, rather tries to do more than she could before marriage.yesterday i came across a man who has been married for 20 years and still his wife cant see beyond.. my parent, my siblings, for her no body has any value in life except her side of family, and she is creating a havoc in many people's life, now tell me, bringing up this type of generation, can it bring any positive change any society.
I have heard many girls saying that it would be better to have a matriarchial society where girls parents live with the couple..it will be more harmonious...but I know a couple..old one who went to live with their daughter and came back and now living on their own.
I know a lady who is living with her daughter and she keeps saying to me.....its better to live with the son, ur MIl lives with you so comfortably, whereas I have to work so much at this age.
So nothing is about gender, its about people..if a boy can adjust to his inlaws, so can the girl. Whichever system we have, there are bound to be some hiccups everywhere, but its only values or Sanskar which make our life better and which help us making others happy. Those who are sensitive(not to their own feelings, but to others), flexible, and respect their families will always do well in all circumstances. Life is never all about living for yourself, a little bit of kindness and sensitivity goes a long way and believe me families are very important in life, they give you an anchor and roots in life.