Marriages are of many types and one of them is forced or imposed marriage. Here women are compelled to get married without their wish. The biggest decision of their life is taken by someone else. They are not allowed to execute their right to choice – the choice to take important decisions of their life that involves choosing the age to get into a relationship that is supposed to last for years. Often these forced marriages results in divorce or domestic violence against women. It is not just India but the entire globe that seems to be affected by this ill practice.
Marriage as an institution do attract many without any gender discrimination. One gets into this never ending loop at different age numbers, while some are taken away in their late teens, others may have to wait for a longer period for the right pick. The choice as in, when do you want to get hooked lies in either the one your family fixes for you, or you get fixed by someone. The era has changed with a giant growth in self-aligned marriages taking place but one thing that remains stagnant is the imposition of marriage onto women. Yes! You read it right.
When I was 22, just trying to figure out where to land in my career, my parents started to look for a perfect match for me. Yes, I was being imposed marriage almost a decade back and this has continued to happen for uncountable years with girls around in their late teens. Just after completing their education or at times after grabbing their first job females are expected to get married. However, that’s not the case with men. They are given their sweet time to flourish their career spans, enjoy their so-called bachelorhood for as long as they want and then get married. They as in other domains enjoy their freedom here too.
Let’s read a story… Ridhi completed her masters in education and wanted to pursue PhD. Living in a family with two elder brothers she has always faced gender inequality. As her brothers enjoyed all the freedom being men she was deprived of the right to choose when to go out and with whom, what to wear and what not to, and even whether to study further or not.
Due to prolonged illness Ridhi’s father passed away, and the elder brother took over the financial decisions of the family. One day Ridhi requested her brother for the fee to be deposited for her Doctorate. Her brother denied saying that she has studied enough and now its time for her to get married. He would soon find an apt match for her and get her wed. She insisted that she wanted to study further and pursue a career that will take her places. For which all she got was a denial. In a state of shock, even her mother didn’t utter a word.
In just about a month the brother made all arrangements to get her married. Her dreams were shattered…After all, what all did she ask for? Higher Education, Stable Career. In our country with an unbalanced ratio of male to female, women are not allowed to even execute these simple choices of their life forget about the choice of when to get married?
As the dates approached to her D-day she chose to approach the women welfare association who further helped to counsel the prospective groom, his family and her brother about how their lives will improve when Ridhi gets her degree along with a job. After understanding her daughter’s dream of achieving big Ridhi’s mother took a stand to call off the wedding and pay for her daughter’s fee with the savings kept for her marriage.
Due to her honest approach and dedication Ridhi today is placed as a dignified lecturer with an esteemed university. She today contributes effectively towards her family’s expenses and is given equal importance in taking vital decisions concerning her family. One decision by Ridhi’s mother paved way for her prosperous future. Marriage though is an essential affair of one’s life but the choice of when and with whom it should take place must lie with the individual be it any gender, any culture and should never be imposed.