Marriage is a Joyous Mirage. The sanctity of holy matrimony is of paramount importance and should be given the highest respect. Getting married is a bliss and it’s a promise that till death the spouses stand by each other through thick and thin. When two people get married , obviously some compromises are required to adjust with each other. Our society to some extent expects the woman to be the one who compromises and not the husband.
Parents get their daughters married at an early age as education is not essential in their eyes, their daughter in any case has to go and start taking care of the household duties. To assure that their daughter doesn’t go of the rails and get in to demoralizing acts, parents opt for early marriages. The age when these precious flowers need to be nurtured and educated, they end up nurturing their own children. I have seen many cases where parents are biased when it comes to their daughters; the son gets the best of the best when it comes to schooling and social standing where as the daughter is kept at home till she gets married (Where is the Love). Pakistan’s Child Marriage Restraint Act (CMRA) 1929 states that the legal marriage age for man is 18 where as a woman can marry at 16 and above. People who do not comply with this law ( early marriage) can face up to 5 years in prison and a fine of a Million PKR. Sindh assembly passed a resolution to increase the marriage age of woman to 18 (Child marriage around the world:, n.d.).
— Rebecca Winthrop (@RebeccaWinthrop) July 6, 2015
Dowry is still a requirement for many to get their daughter married. The husband and his family need to be given money, gifts, furniture, gold, house etc. Parents who are rich can afford this, where as the class which is not affluent or less then mediocre is burdened with the huge financial transaction. In my opinion Dowry should be the other way around, if someone is marrying your daughter and taking her home, in return they should be the ones giving out gifts in gratitude. This social problem is also to impress others; there is actually a tradition where the man’s family calls their friends and family just to see what gift they have received. Many women have suffered whose parents are not able to pay the price, in some cases they end up divorced. or dead. A 25 year old girl in Daska was forced to dowse acid down her throat as her family did not manage to give the required amount of Dowry. Strict actions need to be taken by the government to demolish this norm completely. (Niaza, 2015).
If it turns out that the husband’s identity portrayed before marriage was a complete sham, the wife has to go through many problems of various intensities. An instance would be a husband enjoys sleeping around, or is a drunk, or tortures the wife; the wife would be stuck and demoralized. In such an instance the normal thing would be back to her -place, gets things sorted out opt for a khula (Divorce) (Muslim Marriage). The reality is that many women have to live through this horrific life with no one backing them. When she goes to her family for help, they may try to reconcile or ask her to stand by the relationship, accept this as faith and things would become better. This stance is taken by the family as they fear that their daughter or them would be shunned by the rest of the society; and obviously your respect is more important than your daughters happiness. Sarcasm apart, a women who is labeled as a divorcee in our society is looked down on and their future prospects for getting married turn out to be very slim; where as a man may not face that many issues. Dawn did a piece on a woman named Dania who after constant physical abuse by her husband used to go to her parents. The parents used to send her back and were quite stern on the fact that divorce is not an option; rather a love less marriage was the choice. This cycle kept repeating until Dania’s husband forced her to swallow bleach which ended her up in the hospital. She filed a police complaint which was no help, yet divorce was still not an option as the family’s honor was at stake. (Zahid, 2017)
Girls grow up being taught of how they have to live their life as per their husband’s wishes and that they would be housewives and their husbands would be the provider. Apart from this if they come from a house which is at a better position than that of their spouse, they don’t feel content with what they have. Sure it seems easy to say that you should stay by your husband through the good times and the bad, but practically speaking it’s a tough route. Since women are fed the story that their husband would be the provider, the sense of independence is never formed. Subconsciously from childhood they believe that their husband would be responsible to grant them all their needs. When reality strikes, there is a lapse between expectation and reality; the marriage can go downhill and derail, as I said Marriage is a joyous mirage. Then women start comparing their life’s to that of other married couples;, and they believe that their misfortune are being looked down on and then the highlighted thought arises ‘ Log Kia Sochaingai”? This is how relationships go south.
If God forbid a female has to go through the horrific act of rape or harassment, they may have a long road of discomfort and rejection ahead. For starters in such a case the guilty party should have stern punishments, and the girl in question should be given all the assurance and care in the world to lift up her spirits. Well this is the ideal case and many do this but reality is that many women are blamed that them being raped is partly their own fault; either to do with their dressing or being at the wrong place at the wrong time. Many women are silenced from filing a complaint so that them and their families don’t become social outcasts, this leads to many man walking free. The lack of support, depression and seeing the rapist walking free may lead some women towards ending their life. If a rape victims horrific incident is publicized, then the prospects of them getting married are next to none.
The above mentioned marriage issues are flabbergasting, how can parents be so biased when it comes to their precious flowers. They just pluck their daughters out of their life’s and put them down a torrential path. Parents need to be wise and see all aspects of the to be son in law, weather he is what he claims or if the story is different. There should be legal clauses which make parents also face consequences if they let their daughter live in a abusive marriage. What honor do you stand for when your own daughter is living in constant fear and you turn a blind eye towards it. Sure there are bad apples in the basket and females may also be the ones to blame, but we are currently focusing on one aspect of the picture. A woman should get proper education, if she pleases choose a career and opt for marriage when she is ready. ‘In 2013 and 2013 53.7% of girls who were married between the ages of 15 to 19 never went to schools.’ (End Child Marriages in Pakistan). But there is still hope, many NGO’s are working towards a better future for women and help them out when and if they go through similar circumstances. People are also becoming generally more aware due to education and Media playing a part in highlighting all the considerable issues. With strict laws and further awareness our country can also treat its daughters with the love and respect they deserve.