Pressuring Women To Marry After Completing Their Education, Defeats The Notion Of Empowerment

Posted: August 31, 2016

Forcing women to marry, after completing their education, is unfair. Women must be given a fair chance to explore and decide what they desire in life.

I would say, I come from a progressive Indian family. All the girls in my family are well-educated, working, raised with much affection, freedom and in equality with boys. There has been a special emphasis on education and I can proudly declare that all my female cousins are doctors, engineers, architects, MBAs and so on.

But one thing is common among all of us– the moment we completed our education in diverse fields, whether it is a master’s degree or chartered accountancy, we’ve been told- “Now that the education is over, it is time to get married.” The arranged marriage search begins and soon we would be settled.

I have never understood why getting married has been considered synonymous with being settled. If anything, life after marriage is very unsettling and involves a 360 degree shift in routine, lifestyle, responsibilities and in some cases, relocation. When two people’s lives get intermingled in marriage, they may not have the luxury anymore to pursue their dreams and aspirations independently.

Is this pressure to marry on time helping anybody? Is it enough to allow girls to get an education? Should they not be given time to figure out, what they want to do with their lives?  Maybe a passion undiscovered, a travel yet to unfold, a start-up that has always been her dream.

By the time, the higher education gets over, a woman is easily 23-24 years and she is made to feel that if she doesn’t get married soon, she would end up alone and childless, and therefore miserable! The whole arranged marriage set-up leaves no time for women to search for themselves and date men.

Because of societal interference, disapproval from parents and excess focus to excel in academics, a lot of women in India may be inexperienced when it comes to relationships with the opposite gender. Should they not be given some time to meet people, figure out what men they find interesting, and then only marry someone who is probably like-minded? Why do we find it objectionable to give her a few more years to discover herself? Is it a crime to be unmarried in your 30s?

Medical advancement has transcended barriers to the extent, that motherhood can be attained at an older age. Irrespective of this, having children is not the sole purpose of a woman. Is it not unfair that we educate women, speak about equality and financial independence, yet our biggest fear still is that she should not remain unmarried?

Education is part of the journey, a building block to an enriched future. It is certainly not the last stop to the final destination called marriage!

There is only one life. And there are more purposes to it, than marriage. Fulfillment and happiness comes from within, not from a relationship or from another human being. I am not against marriage. Marriage is a natural step, that two people may choose to take if they want to share the rest of their lives together. But some may not have found that person yet. Some may not be ready.

Do we have any right to tell someone that they may never find that person so better ‘arrange’ their life before it is too late?

When would we stop treating life as a race with marriage and children, being the milestones?

Image Source: Pixabay

I like to write about the problems that have plagued the Indian society. I feel

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  1. Just to look good in the society, almost every parents are following this trend since ages. Many even tell their daughter, ‘So now when I have made you capable to earn on your own, the only thing left is getting you u married to the right guy and then you are no more my responsiblity”. I hate such kind of practices and beliefs.

    • Yes Mitali. No matter how strong we think we are, sometimes we just end up succumbing to the pressure from family and society. There is no time to figure out what we want from life.This attitude needs to change.

  2. Many more young educated Indian women must start thinking along the lines that you have written Tanvi. You have rightly pointed out that it is inappropriate for a society or family to decide when a woman must marry. Like you’ve summarised is the later paragraph-Women (like men) need time and space after their education to go within themselves and to discover their passions and purpose. Setting a deadline by which girls must marry or else face some social sanction, is unfair and lacks commitment to true empowerment of women. In a country like India which is over populated we have no reason to be worried about women having babies at the socially or medically defined right age!! There are enough of us on this planet to feel secure that we as a species and even as a race aren’t going to get extinct any time soon! All these excuses fabricated to tie women down to the home and provide conveniences for others do not hold water and need not be heeded any longer. A woman must settle down only if she ever wants to and when she feels the need to. No one else should decide this for her.

  3. Sonia, You have summarized better than I could – “In a country like India which is over populated we have no reason to be worried about women having babies at the socially or medically defined right age!! There are enough of us on this planet to feel secure that we as a species and even as a race aren’t going to get extinct any time soon”. Loved it!

  4. Just wish I had read this before I caved under pressure. And let me tell you from personal experience, it isn’t just Indian families in India. This applies to Indian families all over the world.

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