Marriage in Pakistan for women has always been a debatable topic. From restricting education opportunities to early marriages, from the toxic rishta culture to lack of consent in marriage, women in Pakistan have always been in turmoil. Despite the number of advancements that have taken place in society, marriage is one issue upon which the opinion of most people is less likely to change. Glorification of marriage and considering it the only possible option available for women is a thing of the past. The present world of opportunities allows women to exercise freedom and excel in different fields.
Without an iota of doubt and exaggeration, marriage plays an important role in a person’s life but the taboos that are associated with it make it chaotic for women. Starting from the destructive rishta culture that allows men and their families to have a look at an infinite number of women and reject them for one or the other reasons. It may not do a lot of damage to the men but the ones to suffer are always the women because they are questioned for not being married with their age tickling by! The new drama serial, Sinf e Aahan addressed the issue,
It should also be considered that decision of marriage must be based on one’s consent. There is no compulsion on when a person should marry and the taboo that is associated with it. Setting a particular standard for women in terms of the age at which they should marry should not be the norm. It is about time to step ahead of the thinking that if women cross a certain age, they would not be deemed fit for marriage. Just like, there is no age set for men to marry, women should be allowed similar freedom and independence.
Glorification of marriage should be replaced with the glorification of careers and financial independence. Just like Aiman Khan said in a recent interview that women should marry earlier or they may end up not marrying at all and she referred to some of the unmarried actresses, there is a need to start normalizing marrying late or not marrying at all because marriage may not be a priority for everyone. Instead of enforcing our opinion on others, everyone should be given room to breathe!
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Another taboo that should be brought under the spotlight is the blame game that follows after divorce. Regardless of the reasons why a couple of part ways, the entire blame is put on the woman and her independence that she was unwilling to settle down and compromise with her partner. Women’s careers and goals should be respected and praised rather than criticized. This makes us remember a statement made by a PTI politician, Nausheed Hamid who said, “Women smokers who get married end up divorced because they are not accepted by their in-laws“.
Just like a woman’s age does not define her, her marital status does not define her too! It’s not necessary that a woman would be successful only if she has a happily married life and children. It’s equally possible for a woman to be unmarried and excel in her life because success may be different for different women. No taboos should be attached to working women because all women have complete freedom and independence to make their own decisions.
There is a dire need to change the mentality of society regarding the issue of marriage which has become increasingly controversial. Women should be given the same freedom and opportunities as men. Just like men are not questioned for the choices they make and no taboos are associated with their particular decisions, women should be respected the same way.