In our society, women continue to be oppressed even in this day and age of liberalism. Beyond being fair or not, it is inhumane to restrict anyone’s right to choose the way they live their life – and with women making up almost 50% of the total population of Pakistan, you are restricting half the consensus.
Throughout history, women have been fighting for their rights and have been championed by various institutes and organizations. Through persistent efforts, they have secured their right to vote, to education, to work. But even today women’s right to choose their own life partner is denied and frowned upon – even though it is a right that women have been awarded through religion.
Islam protects women’s freedom to choose her own marriage partner. Likewise, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that marriage shall be entered into only with free and full consent of the intending spouses.
We believe that like all else in their lives, women should actively pursue their right to choose their life partners. Many women are stuck in marriages that they might not have agreed to if they were allowed to exercise their right to choose. Women in our country, especially in the lesser urbanized areas, barely even see their husbands-to-be before the wedding as the families meet and greet each other and fix everything – and, in many cases, these marriages lead to unhappy marriages as the men prove to be poor provider and unloving fathers.
Research also proves that women are better at choosing their life partners themselves because of an evolutionary phenomenon called the ‘framing effect’. Humans are hard-wired to always choose the best option for themselves, but research shows that women are better at judging potential life partners because they base their judgement on aspects like kindness, intelligence, and earning potential rather than appearance.
We believe that is about time women’s right to choose their own life partners was given its due and practiced openly. Women today are educated and liberated, and have all the tools at their disposal to help them make the right choice when it comes to choosing the man they will spend the rest of their life with!