I Reduced the Bride Token on my Daughter by half


One of the main responsibilities of the Citizens’ Charter National Priority Program of the Ministry of Rural Rehabilitation and Development (MRRD/CCNPP) is to enhance the capacity of the Community Development Councils (CDCs) soon after they have been elected through a democratic election process. The CDC capacity building approach, without doubt, not only helps them find the way of solution to community-related difficulties, but also enable them how to put an end to unnecessary deeply ingrained traditional practices in the area.

In order to become aware of the CDCs phenomenal initiatives they have shown for the sake of their communities’ well-being and a brilliant future free of any tension, we may elaborate on fundamental changes brought about in the rural living standards by the Sulaiman Fars CDC, Spinboldak district of Kandahar province.

“The trend of excessive bride price has been common in our community for several decades. On many occasions, the groom’s family was obliged to sell their house, agricultural land, shop or livestock in order to pay a large amount of money to the bride’s family, ostensibly for the bride’s price or service. To get out of debt and pay back his loans he took from his relatives and friends for the wedding expenses, the groom didn’t have any alternative other than to go abroad for work. On many occasions, disputes arisen from the bride’s wealth apparently resulted in acts of violence against the bride in her life after marriage”, said Abdul Bari 52, the Head of Sulaiman Fars CDC and father of engaged Shazia.

Fortunately, the public awareness campaigns conducted through the Citizens’ Charter has positively changed the villagers’ mentalities and mindsets. Mr. Abdul Bari the father of two daughters one of which has recently been engaged to a boy, is a prime example of impacted individuals in rural communities of Afghanistan.

He said: “My daughter has been engaged to a guy who earns his living from a pushcart in Chaman Bazar for a sum of AFN 500,000 as a bride price. It is too difficult to make this much money by running a pushcart. Indeed, it would take him several years to earn this amount. However, when the Citizen’s Charter has built our awareness on unpleasant traditional practices and changed the public perception, I immediately decided to reduce the bride token on my daughter by half. As such, my daughter’s in-laws are currently making preparations to arrange the wedding soon”.

Miss Shazia 22 is very happy because her father has largely reduced the bride price to her fiancé and in-laws. “Firstly, I am so grateful to the Citizens’ Charter Program for promoting the public awareness about strange and harmful cultural practices. Secondly, thanks to my dad – he has proudly reduced my bride wealth by half. I request all parents that they shouldn’t first demand any bride price. In case they tend to go for it, they should ask for an amount which is affordable for the groom”.

In addition to promoting people’s access to basic human needs such as roads, potable water, irrigation canals, school buildings, energy, etc. the Citizens’ Charter is strongly committed to building public perception at community level both in rural areas and cities across the country