Yes, Virginia [Woolf] dowries so still exist! The writer who insisted women must have their own income would be upset about this law decision and the culture leading up to it in all capacities. Our Canadian neighbor’s B.C. Supreme Court turned down a petition for payment of a dowry under a marriage contract authorized in a sharia court of Amman, Jordan. Seems that the dowry and sharia were contracted by the bride’s uncle, leaving her to live in poverty after her divorce.
Dowries keep women as subordinate citizens, because they typically come from cultures where women are less educated and therefore less economically dependent on their male counterparts. In the case of divorce, brides often need the dowry returned to them to support themselves, however in this case, it was not. Educate women and their earning potential increases, making the tradition of the dowry obsolete.
To read more about the case: B.C. judge rejects petition for divorce settlement based on sharia contract – The Globe and Mail.