Bride Capture – The Abduction of Women leading to Forced Marriage

Bride capture is a term used by anthropologists to describe a marriage in which a woman is abducted or kidnapped by a man and taken as his wife. The term “bride capture” is sometimes used interchangeably with “marriage by abduction” or “forced marriage”.

This practice is usually associated with tribal warfare or raids and is often seen as a way for a man to increase his status or power within his community.

Bride capture can be a violent and traumatic experience for the woman involved and has been linked to various forms of violence against women, including rape, domestic abuse, and forced marriage. In some cases, the woman may be killed if she resists or tries to escape.

The practice of bride capture is declining in many parts of the world, as it is increasingly seen as a violation of women’s rights. However, it still occurs in some parts of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. A recent example is the abduction of the Chibok schoolgirls in Nigeria by the terrorist group Boko Haram.

Factors that lead to the occurrence of Bride Capture

Anthropologists have studied bride capture in a variety of contexts and have looked at the various factors that contribute to its occurrence.

A prime cause is female infanticide, which results in a shortage of women and leads to a situation where men must compete for wives.

Other contributing factors include poverty, especially in societies where a bride price must be paid for a man to obtain a bride; and the practice of polygamy, which creates a demand for more wives.

These studies have helped to increase our understanding of this practice and its impact on women’s lives.

Related terms:

Female infanticide – the practice of killing newborn baby girls.

Polygamy – the practice of having more than one wife.

Violence against women – any form of violence that is directed at women, typically because they are seen as being weaker or inferior to men.

Women’s rights – the right of women to be treated equally to men in all areas of life.

Tribal warfare – war between two or more tribes.

Raid – a sudden attack or invasion.

Abduction – the act of forcibly taking someone away against their will.

Kidnapping – the act of abducting someone for the purpose of ransom or other gain.

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