Brideprice – the money or other gifts provided by a groom and his family to a woman’s family as part of a marriage agreement – is a prevalent cause of instability and violent conflict in some societies. As brideprice rises, some young men are “priced out” of marriage, particularly in places where polygamy and other systemic issues tied to brideprice exist. This incentivizes violence to obtain the requisite resources, with rebel and terror groups exploiting this situation to recruit new members. To demonstrate these principles, the authors dive into two case studies: examining armed groups in South Sudan and Boko Haram in northern Nigeria. They conclude that the rise of brideprice and the overall treatment of women are important early indicators of violent conflict. They also demonstrate that governments and civil society groups can intervene to head off instability, citing examples from Saudi Arabia and other nations.  Read the full article here.

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