Minister decries costly wedding parties
KABUL (Pajhwok): Huge spending on dowry and mourning ceremonies have forced many families into sending their sons abroad or indulging into hard work to bear the costs, participants of a conference said on Tuesday.
About 300 people, including officials from the Ministries of Women’s Affairs, Justice and Hajj and Religious Affairs, lawmakers and civil society activists, attended the first day of the three-day conference organised in Kabul.
Organised by the Women’s Affairs Ministry, the event is aimed at discouraging the culture of dowry and huge spending on mourning ceremonies in Afghan society.
Women’s Affairs Minister Husan Bano said the gathering would discuss costs on different religious and cultural events in line with Islamic and international laws.
Calling luxurious wedding parties one of the main problems facing families, Bano said: “Unnecessary expenses on wedding parties are against Islamic teachings and the Afghan culture because such things damage the economy of our society.”
She said her ministry had always tried to eliminate violence against women and injustices in the society in accordance with Islamic teachings and the country’s Constitution.
“Throwing expensive parties on occasions of childbirths and memorial functions and giving thousands of dollars as bride price are waste of money.”
Bano said spending huge money on such occasions severely affected economy of the poor and common people and forced them to work hard or travel abroad to pay the costs.
She said her ministry had prepared a policy in 2009 how to avoid too much spending on such parties followed by a draft law in 2011 by the Ministry of Justice to put restrictions on dowry and spending on mourning ceremonies.
“We want to end the trend of spending high amounts on such occasions, especially marriages, with support from government, religious scholars, influential individuals and tribal elders,” Bano added.
She asked families and influential individuals not to follow wrong customs and avoid useless spending on such parties in cooperation with each other.
Deputy Justice Minister Syed Yusuf Halim said the draft law they prepared in 2011 had been shared with the Council of Ministers Secretariat, but it was yet to be approved by parliament.
A message from President Hamid Karzai was also read out. “We all are aware our people throw partiers to compete with rivals. All people are forced to do so, no matter whether or not they can afford,” Karzai said in the message read out by his advisor on health affairs Faizullah Kakar.
“Expenses on wedding parties are too much and unnecessary. These are against Islam and our culture, therefore, all Afghans should pay attention to their economic position,” Karzai said.
The president added he believed the three-day gathering would discuss the major issue of useless expenses on marriages and would find a viable solution to it.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.