More than Just Getting Her Married

As I woke up this morning and grabbed my newspaper to read, this particular piece of news caught my attention, “A good number of girls become college drop outs and get married before they finish their studies”. This did amuse me, but distressed me. Why is the marriage of our daughters such a hassle and the why does it become the epicenter of our worry and savings. The day the doctor announces, “It’s a girl”, following a 15 seconds silence (Yes trust me the first choice in India is still to have a boy), there is happiness in the air, and a thought in the back of the mind, “Alright I need to plan and save for her marriage”. This is how it is in India, inadvertently parents of a girl in India have this outlandish worry in their minds of getting their daughter married.
We do educate our daughters, we do, the literacy rate has improved, but more than usual the education is only to add value to her resume as a marriageable material. There are only a few girls who are privileged to live a life they want. One of the girls in the article revealed that she came from a rich family of businessmen, but she knew that she would be married off to a suitable boy by the time she finished high school, she bargained for a year at college before marriage to live her life, and she was allowed. She married at the end of her first year, not completing her college. This disturbed me, not because she could not finish her studies, many don’t and go places, but the fact that she had to bargain for her freedom, it is her life for god’s sake. The simple fact that girls are considered burdens adds to this whole situation, dowry, rape, molestation, abuse within marriage, only overwhelming the parents with worries to get her married before she is exposed to the brutal world.
There are still many powerful women in the country women who have made their mark, and I believe it is because their family supported her. They let her explore herself, her needs, aspirations, desires everything. Being married or not should be the prerogative of the girl, let her decide when she wants it, with whom she wants it. She deserves this much. Our aim as parents should be to give her a life she enjoys, cherishes, and not burden her constantly that her looks should be perfect to lure the perfect match. She should have a beautiful heart, an intelligent and reasonable mind; she need not dress up for anyone else but to make herself happy. She needs to educate herself as much as she likes, marriage should not be barrier, I don’t find any reason why she cannot be doing it if she thinks she can.
There is too much emphasis of marriage in this country, especially for girls. Some parents only want to get rid of the burden of having a daughter and fail to fathom how many undergo martial abuse; they get a life they don’t want to live. I have examples within my family wherein parents decided to spend money on the daughter’s marriage rather than her education, “She eventually has to get married only, so why waste money on education”. A woman has an identity beyond her man, and this needs to be accepted in the society fervently. We are much more than just being a marriageable girl.
I was fortunate enough to be raised in a family who believed in the same ideology as mine, I was given the best of education my parents could afford, liberty to question and demand, I was no less than a boy to my parents, and yes I had my moments of being on the road feeling vulnerable because I am a girl, but my parents instilled in me the confidence to take on the world. I voice my opinions, I am the so called modern day girl, wife to a loving husband who is supportive and encouraging, mother of a little girl who I intend to raise on the principles I believe in. I want to give her wings to fly, explore, travel and find herself. Her marriage is on my mind because I want her to enjoy this part of life too as I enjoy it, but only when she wants it and the way she wants to. We have to stop fretting about her marriage, and fret more for her well-being and keeping her happy, giving her a life she deserves and commands since we brought her into this world.
May sound a little over board but I love this line my father sent me once:
“A girl is not tension, but she is equal to TEN-SONS”
Let us embrace this thought and give our daughters the privilege of a wonderful life they deserve.

9 thoughts on “More than Just Getting Her Married

  1. Blessings upon your parents! I believe you will make a difference to the girls you meet because they will see you taking risks and living life to the fullest. And I love your father’s “TEN SONS”!

  2. I loved the way your father said about Tension, In our society, we have this imbedded in our blood. It will take decades to erdicate provided all women think alike and act alike. More than parents grils are eager to get married, The way i look at it, the aim should be to educate a girl child and make her financial independent. Girls should respect themself, charity startes at home. Loved your article.
    We think si much alike.

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