Concern is rising in China over bride price after reports a woman who was forced to abort her unborn baby over a bride price wrangle.
According to the BBC a local radio station ran a story about a man who wanted to marry his pregnant girlfriend but when he wasn’t able to afford a payment of more than $38,000, the woman’s father put an end to any talk of a wedding and forced his daughter to get an abortion.
Although there are some concerns over the veracity of the story the strong reaction online points to anxiety over the rising cost of bride prices in a country where there is a marked shortage of women.
A bride price is similar to a dowry but instead of a bride’s family paying a groom’s family, a prospective groom instead pays the bride’s family.
In the past groom’s have paid for brides by way of exchange of a household item but, as China’s economy has grown, so has the expectation of a large cash transfer for a bride.
The shortage of women, because of China’s one child policy, is also behind the rise in bride price.
According to Harvard researchers, there are 118 men for every 100 women in China, and an extra 40 million males in the countryside.