Is marriage a girl’s destiny?
Marriage is not a destiny for any girl. It should be her choice whether to get married or not. She also deserves an identity and can dare to dream, to thrive up in her career. Parents should aim at supporting child education and financial independence rather than succumbing to the stereotypic thinking of our society. However, despite raising girls and boys as equals, a lot of women become quieter and suffer under male dominance.
For millennia, girls have been the victims of child marriages and forced marriages across the globe. As per the recent data, “India ranks fourth among South Asian countries in terms of child marriages.” It is a violation of human rights to get married before the age of 18. Often, girls are more victimised than boys. Is 18 years the correct legal age for a girl to get married? Are we still following outdated laws? The reasons to condone such practices are poverty, social norms, ineffective legislative laws and poor implementation, family pride, and a false perception of girl’s security through marriage.
To combat such menace, a big step forward is to revive the legal age of marriage of women to 21 from 18 years. Such laws, alongside awareness among the public at large, will help eradicate the hazards of early marriage. Women can bear a child at a later matured age when she is physically and mentally fit for doing so. Furthermore, this allows the girl to pursue graduation which can pave the way for her career.
The repression of females dates back to ancient years. Many religious texts depict the role and the traits of a woman. They prevent women from being ambitious and independent. They emphasize on women being submissive and to oblige men quietly. Any deviation from such thoughts would label women as the one ‘breaking tradition.’ Furthermore, our ancient religious scriptures state that “women should be guarded by a father in her young age, later husband, and by sons in her older age.”
Many times women become victims of domestic violence by their own family members. So, who are the real ones who pose a threat to her- family, or strangers? Education is the only weapon for a woman to prevent herself from being victimized.
Getting higher education and proper exposure to society will make women more mature in her thinking and can derive more confidence and courage to fight back any evil against her. Instead of entering into a forced marriage, she can vent out her voice to express her opinion. She can choose an equal partner with whom she can prosper simultaneously in every walk of life.
When there is compatibility and understanding between the couple, the gender gap will be narrowed down, and equality will be nurtured under the same roof, paving the way for a better society. Nevertheless, we still find women turning silent after marriage and compromising their dreams. They end up making a ‘trade-off’ to sustain a relationship. Women are reprimanded or sidelined for choosing career over family.
Despite bringing up girls and boys as equals, we often find women going silent under abominable male tyranny. She, too, deserves to lead, the life, the way she wants. She can dare to establish an identity on her own. It is often said that great things can’t be achieved under someone’s shadow. A girl is not born just to get married and bear kids. Marriage should be her choice, not destiny.
If she chooses to remain single junking the practice of marriage, her decision must be respected and applauded as well. Women are thriving up in reaching the pinnacle in their line of interest. Countries under women leadership have been prompt in responding to the pandemic, showing their capabilities and wit in combating covid-19, a well appreciated and known fact to the world.
To summarize, women need proper education and exposure to become financially independent. This can prevent her from being victimized by the evil practices of the society. It will give needed courage to break the stereotypical barriers encountered in her visionary path and relinquish all the apprehensions in her path to success.
She can stand apart from the crowd to prove her potential and live life to the fullest and the way she wants. Women empowerment is the key to lay an equitable and just society. When we say equality, it is the intellectual equality women talk about, not the physical or muscular equality.