Over the years, it has been a tradition, that whenever a man wants to marry, then bride price must be paid. In other countries, especially in Asia, and previously in Europe, it was the other way. The family of the girl had to pay dowry.
Dowry is what the family of the girl pays to the family of the man, while bride price is what the man pays to the family of the girl.
In India, dowry has been misused, to the extent that the family of the man demand a lot. Sometimes the girl is even killed if the dowry is not enough. In Africa, bride price has been commercialised. A highly educated girl commands more. In the past, it was a girl who was of good virtue and a hard working virgin who commanded a high price. Where do we get hardworking virgins today?
I believe both bride price and dowry have outlived their useulness. We cannot talk about sex equality and still contonue with these practises.
These practises must stop, and the sooner the better