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How much is a bride worth?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 02:08

A new app designed by a Nigerian firm enables women to calculate their value as brides using criteria such as beauty and education. It's supposed to be humorous but as Hayley Platt reports it's been criticised for taking deeply-rooted cultural practices too lightly and objectifying women.

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Every bride wants to look her best on her wedding day. But in Nigeria Lola Ogunbadero's looks could also boost her value. In a country where dowry's are still sometimes paid a new app has been launched to calculate the marital worth of a woman. (SOUNDBITE) (English) LOLA OGUNBADERO, BRIDE, SAYING: "The bride app is just a game, it's just a play thing." The app assesses a woman's height, weight, leg shape and even skin colour - to the horror of Kenyan actress Lupita Nyongo who champions natural skin colour. An overweight woman could see her value drop as much as $120 And a bandy-legged one could lose out by the same amount. On the plus side a good cook can earn $300 While a good education and a successful career can also boost worth. A television presenter scores $120 A doctor $300 And an oil and gas worker $600 The Lagos-based firm behind Bride App says it shouldn't be taken too seriously. (SOUNDBITE) (English) EDITI EFFIONG, CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER, ANAKLE SAYING: "It's an inside joke by Africans for Africans, right, and we ... the concept of bride price is not being sold ...But for someone who is not used to ... who has never paid a bride price it's like oh my God, it's such a barbaric culture." The concept of a dowry dates back generations in Nigeria. And this 21st century take on the tradition has upset many. Gender activist Joan Okorodudu says the App is sexist and marginalises women. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JOAN OKORODUDU, GENDER ACTIVIST SAYING: "I will advise young girls to say no, we don't want to be sold and if they actually love each other they can arrange you know, talk to the parents and see how this whole bride price thing works, but we need to stop it." Since the app was launched three months ago it's been seen in over 50 countries, generating more than four million hits. How many have actually used it to calculate a real dowry isn't clear. Lola certainly hasn't - her husband is marrying her for love not money.

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How much is a bride worth?

Tuesday, August 19, 2014 - 02:08