The “Damages” Cultural Belief

Is paying damages still relevant/important today?

So last week we spoke about what paying damages is and the process. This week let’s talk about whether or not it is still relevant in this age. Let’s talk about whether or not maybe there is need for some adjustments to the custom. I took this to social media to get people’s views on this and some said yes while some said no. Let’s start with everyone on the ‘it is still relevant tip’.

It was unfortunately more females that said it is still relevant, and I didn’t get a lot of guy’s perspectives, which I would have loved to get because at the end of the day they are the ones paying the ‘damages’.

The main reason to people saying it is still relevant was that it shows a sign of respect from the guy to the girls family and parents. It says that “even though I have impregnated your child at a young age or out of wedlock I did not mean it as a sign of disrespect to you who raised her.” It is also a sign of responsibility still on the guy’s side saying that I will take care of this child and be a responsible father to them. Some however, just said it is still relevant because it is tradition without giving clear views as to why the tradition should continue as is.

The opposing side had quite a lot to say which to me personally made a lot of sense. The first point being that the word ‘damages’ suggests that it was not something that was agreed upon by both parties and also suggests that now that a woman has a child and is not yet married she is now damaged, whilst the guy who impregnated her remains ‘not damaged’. Secondly, not paying the damages regards the man the title of ‘less of a man’ and not deserving to be a part of the child’s life because he has failed to prove his financial stability and ability to take care and be responsible for the child. The question becomes what is the woman’s role in all this? If a man needs to prove himself to be worthy of being a father in his own child’s life? It was also said that it has now started to seem as a way for families to make money because now more money is charged than previous years, yet this money does not assist in the raising of the child. It leaves financial burden on both parents once the child is born because not only does there need to be money to pay for the damages, there also needs to be money to take care of and clothe the baby from birth. This is done with no assistance from the parents who have received the ‘damages’ money.

In short it was said by one of the women who responded that, “It is an abusive cultural practice and pays little to no attention to the fact that copulation is mostly consensual”

What are your views? I would love to hear what you think and if possible get some males to comment on this as well and share their views. Could it be that maybe some changes need to be made?

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