Let’s look into the case of why matrimonial unions are falling in numbers? Every minute, one house in four has a girl who has crossed the age of 30 years but is still under the status of being uncommitted or unmarried. The number of girls coming under this mind-blowing fact are around 5M or so. The numbers are alarming and are pointing towards an issue which needs serious pondering from our societal framework.
This article is a sole work of Urdu Safha. The Daily Beat is publishing it with translation from Urdu to English.
Looking into these figures, a detailed research on the matter was recently conducted through which information was obtained by organizing a survey with over 1000 participants. The intel attained through this social experiment led to the conclusion that the decline in marriages in Pakistan relates to one or more of these four causes:
*Dowry- a never-ending misery
This deeply embedded issue in our society has been going on for generations. Did you know that Pakistan has the highest reported number of dowry death rates per 100,000 women in the world?
With so many inflicted families from the low-income society, many unfortunate parents to girls are able to find good prospects, however are engulfed and get drowned in endless debt as they try to get the dowry amount sorted, as per the demands of the groom’s family. While we have had recent campaigns run by influential figures of the society, according to reports, 56% of the population expects that a girl coming into matrimony will be bringing with her a good amount of dowry, signifying the union as more of a financial gain and heightened stature. For those who fail, fall into the 280,000 of the weddings that do not happen.
*The Caste Enigma of the country
Turns out, the caste discrimination impacts the society’s smooth running in more than one way. This so-called age-old systematic way of creating classes, designated at birth, continue to be a major factor deciding whether a proposal will be leading towards fruition. The society is concretely divided into subclasses, which has made it a rule set in stone for individuals to marry someone who also falls under the same caste as theirs.
Did you know that every day, 1000 proposals don’t progress further due to the stated reason? This means that almost 200,0000 marriages would have happened if this concern and social dilemma is eradicated from our cultural mix.
*Guardian Dilemma right from Home
This is yet another concern which is being taken very lightly. Often, we see families where parents play a major role in creating the constraints in happy and blissful matrimonial on account of knowing what’s better for their daughter. This is usually set off by their focus for her to complete her education, get a good job, help the family create some financial stability before setting her off to make her own home. The major concern here is by the time the parents or guardians feel the girl should be committed to someone, she is well under the age of 35 years. Another major factor is when a girl gets pampered you can say ‘needlessly’ which makes her set unrealistic goals and vision of that ‘perfect idol’ who fits the bill in every way. However, this pampering and taking in cues from fictional, romantic work of art on television, just makes it harder for the younger generation of nowadays to realize that computability also requires a little patience and understanding to look over the minor differences and emphasize on the bigger things that make a marriage a strong union of trust and stability.
*Second Marriages- why a stigma?
This is yet another social stigma which causes for many women to become victimized where they lose their chance of getting a happy ending. Much like the divorce stigma, being labelled as a second marriage is also frowned upon. Much of this comes from the somewhat one-sided depiction of the women involved in a second-marriage, as you have a glamorized and evil depiction of women against women setting. Even for a man who aims to lead marriage of more than one with complete dedication and commitment, the society framework isn’t allowing for this to come into materialization.
So where does that leave us?
Now that we have heard of the major reasons why marriages continue to decline, the first and foremost aspect that needs to be looked into is making marriages not proportional to a major glitz and glamour wedding party. You can have a simple Nikkah ceremony where you do not require to entertain a huge crown of attendees with a major buffet of delicacies, coupled with heavy decoration and extremely expensive bridal and groom wear.
Having a simple Nikkah and a simple Walima as per the groom’s own condition and preference, weddings can very well take off without being a huge headache for the parents of both parties, specifically of the bride’s. Alongside this major change which if implemented would allow many women above thirties to get a financial burden uplifted, we should also focus upon how the stigma against second marriages should be removed. We have been depending heavily on the dramatic depiction by Indian drama serials and movies to see the extremely biased view on how second marriages work. We have certain cases which are living proof on how this matrimonial setting is also workable.
Don’t forget, as a Muslim country, we need to be extremely concerned how extramarital relations, rape and harassment cases are on the rise as many women are still single and in a vulnerable stage. When we have certain individuals using public portals and campaigns like Aurat March to represent views and stances which are clearly going against our Islamic teachings, we know we are moving forth towards trouble. And unfortunately, this will progress and inhabit strongly in our future generation, making our stance on matters which are unethical rather weak without concreteness.
A relation which has been spoken of highly in our religion’s framework, is being threatened strongly by a freedom of expression institute which is more so influenced and welcomed from outsiders rather than what we have been clearly instructed through the Book of the Almighty.
Marriage as a dying institute? Your views on the matter. Do share in the comments section.