The Fate of a Woman in Pakistan

The ultimate fate of a Pakistani woman, whether raised in or outside of Pakistan, is almost always marriage; to a cousin, a distant relative, or a family friend. Granted there are some, perhaps rare, exceptions to this.

“What’s so bad about marriage?” I hear some of you ask.

Nothing is wrong with marriage. It is half our Deen and it pleases our Creator as it helps keep fitna away. However, the inexcusable and enforced cultural norms that override a woman’s right to have a say in who she marries is problematic and the overarching cultural toxicity that surrounds marriage, in the case of most family units in Pakistan, needs to be addressed.

“But, our nation is perfect! We handle everything according to Islamic beliefs,” I hear you say.

Do we really? No we don’t!

Also, no one and nothing is perfect, except Allah (SWT).

If we wish our posterity to have a positive attitude towards marriage and have healthy relationships within the family unit, we need to learn and adopt Islam’s view on women in its essence and discern the true role of men within the family according to the religion. We cannot and should not withhold the divine rights bestowed upon a woman by Our Benevolent and Merciful Creator Allah (SWT) any longer.

Illustration by Rihab Nadeem

Culture overrides Islamic values in most Pakistani marriages

In Pakistan, it is often the case that a young girl is forcibly married to whomever her parents wish. She is either kept from having an education altogether or is married off shortly after she finishes her studies. Some are sadly married off at tender ages while others are ridiculed for still not being married by their mid-20s or 30s.