Dote e violenza domestica in India: un’analisi socio-giuridica
on of gender violence, in all its aspects, affects millions of women throughout the world, as it has been underlined by the WHO in a recent report. India represents a peculiar and interesting case as to both the incidence of the problem and the mixture of factors contributing to determine specific and local forms of violence, like the one related to dowry.
After describing the path feminist movements followed at the international level in order to shed light on the phenomenon of gender violence and get a stronger protection, this work examines the Indian context. A study on the role of women in the Indian tradition and history will allow the reader to place the 70’s feminist struggles in a wider frame of acquisition of self-awareness on the part of Indian women, fighting against common forms of gender violence in India, such as female infanticide, sati and dowry, on which the rest of the essay is focused.
This research aims at bringing out the difficulties scholars face when framing the dowry problem, which, far from the traditional version described in the sacred texts, has turned into a pernicious and violent practice. On the one hand, I try to identify the elements of distinction between the old and the modern dowry and, on the other hand, I look into the roots of this violence, that some people ascribe to a process of westernization, and some others to an inefficient enforcement of inheritance rights, or problems related to traditional marriage practices.
This essay would like to organically present all the theories that have been proposed with reference to dowry, linking together the different approaches in a wider study, which encompasses not only a sociological and traditional analysis of dowry, but also a legal one. The last part of this work will focus on the legal response which has been offered by the State in the field of dowry and domestic violence and on the causes of the abuses and the significant inefficiency of this legislation.
Keywords: gender violence, India, dowry, bride-burning.
Parole chiave: violenza di genere, India, dote, bride-burning.