Even with all the laws against it, dowry is still prevalent in most parts of India and continues to ruin the lives of women. It affects their self-worth and in many cases leads to bigger crimes in the future because the greed of the other family is never satiated. Dowry is a blot on society and instead of worrying about it so much, these are the immaterial yet precious gifts we wish parents would give to their daughter she is getting married.
1. Self-worth so that she can walk out of the marriage if it turns abusive or unpleasant.
2. Confidence so she never has to second guess herself or her own decisions.
3. Desire to be more and want more of what makes her happy and content.
4. Awareness of when she's being manipulated or gaslit, and her rights as a woman and a human being.
5. Self-respect so she knows that she is equal to her husband, and by no means inferior just because of some unfair perception of gender.
6. Unconditional support so she can chase her dreams, pursue her passions without worrying about being a 'good wife'.
7. The courage to walk out of an abusive, toxic relationship no matter what society says.
8. Knowledge that there is a world out there that is waiting to be explored, irrespective of age, marital status or gender.
9. Encouragement to form strong political beliefs and to voice them without fear.
10. Empathy towards the struggles she may face, not just as a married woman, but also as a human being.
11. A safe space so she may be able to come to them in times of trouble without worrying about being judged.
12. Sexual awareness because while she can learn things from the internet, an empathetic explanation from parents holds special value.
13. Lessons in self-care so she doesn't make others happy at the cost of her own peace of mind.
14. Love, respect and affection because she deserves it and because they are the gifts cherished the most.
Pack her bags with affection and strength.