Dowry outlawed in all these countries but still legal in Britain

Pavan Amara (edited@ev_bartlett
Saturday 18 October 2014 14:20
Dwinderjit Kaur, 51, from Nottingham became the first British woman to successfully sue for the return of her dowry

Hundreds of women in Britain have been subjected to being burnt, scalped and imprisoned in their homes in disputes with their in-laws in abuse that has been dubbed "dowry violence".

Police have now launched their first ever investigation into this kind of violence after evidence was discovered by the Independent.

Dowry, a centuries-old custom, involves a woman's family paying her new husband's family. It is still prevalent in parts of South Asia, the Middle East, parts of Africa and in some communities in Britain.

While many of the following countries have enforced laws banning dowry because of the death toll to women, it is still legal in Britain:


In India, dowry was banned in 1961 under the Dowry Prohibition Act.


Pakistan has passed five separate laws making dowry illegal. The first one was implemented in 1964 and the most recent one in 2008.


Nepal made it illegal in 2009, with the Social Customs and Practices Act which outlawed dowry.


Kenya’s Marriage Bill, implemented in 2012, prohibits any dowry payments.


In 1983, Greece amended its family laws to abolish dowry.


In May this year, Australian MPs tabled a petition in Parliament to have dowry banned as part of the country’s Family Violence Protection Act.

Sri Lanka

In Sri Lanka, no law or sanctions currently exist, but women’s campaigners have been vocal in pushing for a ban.

The full, exclusive report: Shunned, beaten, burnt, raped - the dowry violence that shames Britain

More The number of reported rapes is at its highest level yet