In a country like Pakistan, being a 13-year-old girl (in a rural area) or a 25-year-old woman (in an urban setting) is no different. You know why? Because none of them is allowed to talk about their marriage although ironically they’ll be reminded time and again on how their life totally depend on it, how temporary their stay is at this home, how they need to be patient and not raise their voices even if they are being beaten black and blue, how learning to make perfect gol rotis is more important than holding a pen and making your career.
Women undergo more troubles than men especially when they are married. They have to strictly abide by cultural, moral and man-made norms. Throughout the entire life, their freedom is compromised many a time.
From the very first day of your birth, you are constantly reminded of how your parents did a huge favour on you by bringing you to life since daughters can’t pay them off when they grow up. Although I don’t see sons doing it either so what’s the point? You’ll in fact see more daughters taking care of their parents in their old age but ssshh you don’t get to talk about that here. Do you? In Pakistan, your parents marry you off to literally anyone as long as they are of opposite sex.
A 13-year-old girl is forced to marry a man twice or sometimes thrice her age who gets a legal document of nikkah to prey on her. But nobody talks about it because that man is her husband and since she’s been married to him, she’s his property and he can do anything to her. Terms like marital rape are still foreign to us because wives are not expected to say “NO” to their husbands aka majazi khuda. Oh by the way, what’s a no though?
A chaste pious woman doesn’t say no to a man because if she does, she’s either thrashed, acid thrown on her face, raped or murdered. Now coming over to a 25-year-old who’s studying at one of the best institutes, is ambitious, vows to achieve something big in life but can’t. Why? Because she’s reached the age when she should be married off or else, she’ll get old, unwanted, charmless and non presentable to a man who has just a 6 figure salary.
Looks don’t matter here, neither does age, weight, height, facial features, complexion whiter than milk nor dowry. The only thing our parents see in a guy is the amount he earns. Whereas, the girl is expected to do a ramp walk in heels with tray full of eatables and tea with a smile broader than the diameter of her mouth, hair like rapunzel, body so dainty that it’s easy to dispose off even in a cupboard.
If God forbid, she lacks either of these traits, it’s a clear no which becomes apparent as soon as she comes into view but the rishty waly won’t say it until they have clean sweeped even the last specks of biscuits. If it’s a yes, the date is fixed without asking the bride to be even once. Because sweaty, you are not a human just a property being traded between two parties who don’t care one bit about you.