Legal Article


Shivendra Pratap Singh


High Court Lucknow


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Published on: 21 Aug, 2023

The term “streedhan” refers to the wealth or property that a woman receives from her family at the time of her marriage. It is a traditional practice in many South Asian cultures, including India. Streedhan can include jewelry, cash, property, or other valuable assets. According to Hindu law, streedhan is the exclusive property of the woman, and she has full control over it. She can use, sell, or dispose of her streedhan as she wishes, without any interference from her husband or in-laws.

The concept of streedhan has been a subject of legal and social discussions, especially in the context of women’s rights and empowerment. It is often contrasted with “dowry,” which is the wealth transferred from the bride’s family to the groom’s family, and which has been a subject of social criticism and legal prohibition due to its association with social evils like dowry harassment and domestic violence.

Here are some key points about streedhan:

In India, the concept of streedhan is recognized under the Hindu Marriage Act and the Dowry Prohibition Act. The woman has the sole right to her streedhan, and any unauthorized possession or misuse of it by others can be a legal offense.

Cultural Significance

Streedhan is considered a form of financial security for a woman. It is her personal wealth, and she can use it in times of need or emergency.

Types of Streedhan

Streedhan can be categorized into two types:

  1. Vridhi: Gifts received from the father, mother, or blood relatives.
  2. Yautaka: Gifts received from the husband or in-laws at the time of marriage or afterwards.


While streedhan is meant to empower women, it sometimes becomes a point of contention in marital disputes. There have been cases where women have been denied access to their streedhan, leading to legal battles.

Modern Interpretations

In contemporary times, the concept of streedhan is evolving. Some couples opt for more equitable financial arrangements, and the traditional practice of giving streedhan is sometimes replaced by mutual financial planning and asset sharing.

Streedhan is a complex issue that intersects with culture, law, and gender relations. It continues to be an important topic for social and legal discourse.


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