Hinduism - What Is The Status Of Daughters In A Hindu Society?

In Hindu culture, the status of female offspring varies greatly depending on regional norms, the social grouping (jati/caste) to which a family belongs, and the unique circumstances of specific households. 

In general, although the birth of a daughter is a joyous occasion, it also entails more responsibility than the birth of a male. 

Parents have a religious obligation to arrange a daughter's marriage, which is still treated extremely seriously since her marriage is viewed as the key to her ongoing material success as well as her personal satisfaction. 

The gift of a daughter (kanyadan) in marriage confers enormous religious honor on the parents, but it also imposes a significant financial burden. 

In contemporary India, arranging a marriage generally takes a lot of time, effort, and money. 

The latter stems not just from the costs of wedding rituals, but also from the still-practiced practice of presenting a dowry (gift to the groom's family) with the bride. 

Many impoverished families see the birth of numerous daughters as a calamity since their relatives would be unable to properly marry them. 

Aside from the cost and hardship, girls are often considered as "temporary" members of their birth families in many regions of India. 

They will dwell in their marital houses and become members of their marital families after their weddings, while their brothers will bring their wives into their natal households and remain there for the rest of their lives. 

The parents will rely on these sons and their spouses for assistance in their latter years, as well as for the conduct of ancestral ceremonies following their deaths. 

This is the traditional structure in most of India; but, as contemporary pressures have altered the joint family, it has become increasingly typical for husbands and wives to live apart from their parents. 

This pattern has a lot of local diversity as well. 

Because the brahmin community in southern India is so tiny, cross-cousin marriage is rather typical there, and a lady is essentially shifting from one branch of her family to another in this situation. 

These economic and societal elements have sometimes resulted in unfavorable outcomes. 

In many significant ways, sons are favored over daughters, whether consciously or unconsciously: in their access to education; in their opportunities, which are deemed more important for men because of their need to support a family; in Hindu inheritance laws (in which sons get a much larger share, under the assumption that they will be supporting a family); and in poorer families, in which sons are favored for even more basic needs such as food and access to water. 

Despite these broad trends, it is important to note that many families love and care for all of their children equally. 

This is especially true in today's world, when the birth of a girl is celebrated just as much as the birth of a male, especially given the tendency toward fewer households. 

Arranged marriage is another term for a marriage that has been arranged. 

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