With the wedding season in full swing, media fans were left in a frenzy this week when rumours of actor Ali Rehman Khan started floating around. Sporting a discernible ring on his ring finger, the actor took to Instagram to announce his wedding, supposedly taking place on live TV the next morning. But did he really tie the knot? Apparently not!
Showing up in a full bridegroom’s attire on Geo TV’s morning show, the actor toyed with the hosts and the audience at first. But soon after, he revealed it was all a stunt, when his alleged bride turned out to be a cart full of dowry items. The actor basically wanted to garner some attention towards one of society’s major prevailing evils, that is, dowry.
The main purpose behind this elaborate feat was to shed some light on the immorality of forced dowry and its consequences. Initiated by UN Women Pakistan, this campaign is supposed to highlight how dowry materializes a bride’s worth, holding her synonymous to invaluable things like household items, cash, and jewellery. And when usually, families fail to meet the dowry wish-list, the bride is held responsible and is tortured and humiliated throughout her married life. In some extreme cases, it becomes life threatening for the poor soul as the barbarians on the other side only desire material wealth.
Coining the hashtag #StopJahezkhori, the campaign is striving left, right, and centre to promote the evils that come with jahezkhori. UN Women Pakistan and former parliamentarians have also showed immense support for the cause, by drafting a bill on dowry violence which will be presented in the National Assembly. Moreover, the campaign also shows religious aspects that discourage dowry, which were stressed upon by religious scholar Mufti Mohammad Naeem in a talk show.
This campaign is being launched powerfully with the support of many celebrities, bloggers, and influencers. Paved by Ali Rehman Khan with his incredible act, the road to a respectable future for women is being joined by prominent figures like Osman Khalid Butt, Iqra Aziz, Yasir Hussain, Sana Javed, Ushna Shah, and many others. Visually supporting the cause, the patrons are seen posting pictures with henna laden hands, with the message Jahezkhori Band Karo (Stop the Dowry Practice) written in the centre.
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I publicly pledge to never ask for dowry, and reduce a sacred union to some.. transaction. It's time our society and our mentality changes. The social burden, the violence, the deaths will end only when jahezkhor becomes a gaali. As it should. Join me. Make the pledge. #StopJahezkhori #UNWomenPakistan
With these monumental efforts, the campaign is encouraging the general public to join their cause, and eradicate the evils associated with dowry. This will ensure a healthy future for young brides everywhere, and obliterate all kinds of torture faced by families under the name of dowry.