It is a common custom in KSA that the groom provides dowry to bride in case he is willing to marry her. Dowry can be paid to bride in any form like gold, money, property or any other form as demanded by bride or her family. As the groom pays dowry for the sake of bride, he is entitled to take it back in case she wants divorce. It may be conditional as mentioned in legal contract that whether dowry is to be repaid on the time of divorce or not. Simply saying this can be taken as bride’s price for marriage. It not only bounds bride for divorce right, it also suffocate her for a free and willful life. Normally poor brides are approached by men who have already married twice or thrice. They simply promise heavy amounts to young girls’ families and they out of their poverty agree to marry their young daughters to old men. This way these girls become life time hostage of these old husbands as they can never even imagine paying back dowry amount to their husbands to get rid of them.
A case of this nature came in light where a young girl (20) got married to 80 years old man who had already 3 wives. The man convinced her father to let him marry his daughter. He offered a separate home for her and SR 50,000 for dowry. Moreover, he mentioned it in marriage contract that if she would want divorce, she would have to pay back dowry amount. She married to him for 2 years but after 2 years of her marriage she asked for divorce. She is living a very miserable life with that old man for that reason she wants to get rid of this restricted life. As it was mentioned in marriage contract that she would have to pay back dowry amount so she can’t take the matter to court. Simply speaking this dowry amount has become a cage for her lifetime.
Normally poor girls try to help out their families in order to assist them financially by marrying such rich men. This offer normally results in life time slavery as their poor families can never pay back dowry amount and this factor makes them life time hostage. In some cases even promises made by husbands before marriage are not fulfilled after marriage. In this case the girl is in total loss.
It is exploiting the essence of marriage. Marriage is union of two individuals and families. It is symbol and love and compassion. Money based marriages or need based relationship can never be healthy for any party. These types of marriages not only promote illegal activities in society by building non healthy relationships but also give rise to several problems for poor girls and their families. In case rich groom exploits his young wife after marriage in any way she is unable to take any action against her due to financial difficulties.