This research paper contributes a vital element to the studies, debates and literature on bride price. While employing a systematic conceptual frame work to ground its analysis of the perceptions, experiences, processes and outcomes of bride price payment, it uses data collected from interviews, focus group discussions and observation to bring out the voices and experiences of the people most affected by bride price, that is, the men and women at the grass root whose voice has been missing in literature and debate. The study focuses on responses from field data collection in Mbarara, western Uganda to answer the question: How do notions of masculinity/femininity, gender, class and modernisation influences people’s experiences and perceptions on bride price? It uses a conceptual frame work consisting of Gender, Masculinity, class, modernisation and intersectionality to analyse data collected from interviews with different actors and direct observation of the bride price payment functions. The paper argues that while bride price has overwhelming support among the members of the community, its motivations, processes and outcomes are gendered and bent towards reinforcing masculinities and femininities that do not only create, but also reinforce male dominance and female subordination thus expanding gender inequality, reduced decision making powers for women in the households and sometimes wife abuse. It also argues that with forces of modernisation coupled with the desire for actors to conform to particular class status, the practice has turned too commercialised, lost its original meaning, and makes women appear like purchased commodities. The prohibitive costs have denied several young men and women a chance to marry. The paper recommends that much as it not necessary to abolish the practice (as demanded by several activists and legislators), serious reforms are required to remove the commodifiacation and financial motives so as to make it affordable by many intending to marry.

Additional Metadata
Keywords bride price, gender, masculinities, class, modernisation, perceptions, experiences, commercialisation
Thesis Advisor Shehada, N.Y.
Persistent URL
Series Social Justice Perspectives (SJP)
Asiimwe, Henry. (2013, December 13). The Changing Dynamics, Trends and Perceptions in the Bride Price Custom in Uganda and the Implications- A Feminist Perspective. A Case of Banyakitra Ethnic Group in Western Uganda. Social Justice Perspectives (SJP). Retrieved from