Recently, a suicide note of a woman made rounds on the internet. The note shows the desperation of the woman, who was stuck in an unhappy marriage and had torturous in-laws but couldn’t seem to do anything about it. She clearly mentioned in her last note that she had no one to talk to and nowhere to go, which is why she ended up taking her own life. The hopelessness is clearly being reflected from the woman’s letter.
Divorce – a taboo in Pakistan
Divorce is considered a ‘big taboo’ in Pakistani society, where marriage is thought to be a woman’s only purpose in life. People expect a woman to adjust in her in-laws and do all she can to make the marriage work. Daughters are usually taught to ‘compromise’ at a very young and early age solely because parents prepare them for their lives after marriage. Parents feel like marriage is a protective measure for their daughters. But what if it’s not? What exactly should one do if things don’t work out?
Well, yes, walking out of an unhappy marriage is a solution, as religion gives the right to do too. But it isn’t possible for everyone. Not all women have supportive households they can return to. Besides, a divorced woman is continuously told that she is an additional burden on her parents and wasn’t good enough to make a marriage work. Things are twisted, and it automatically becomes a woman’s fault.
The label of divorce follows her around like a shadow, always beside her, in every decision she makes, everywhere she goes.
All of this doesn’t end here; people do all they can to make sure they bash the divorcee. She is given all the negative comments in this world, ‘tum he compromise kar leti’ or ‘ajkal ki larkiyon main bardasht he nae hai’, the list goes on and on. A divorced woman is expected to not continue her life in a normal way once again because ‘haw, talaaq kay baad bhi ussay koi faraq nahi parha. Bohat dheeth hai’.
Dear parents, please support your daughters
Continuous torture and unsupportive parents led the woman(whose suicidal note is mentioned above) to take her own life. Parents always teach their daughters to sacrifice and compromise; they forget to tell them that they CAN move out if things get too out of their hands.
Most parents fail to tell their daughters that despite society and the typical mindset, they will accept their daughter if she feels like she can’t put up with her marriage anymore. Instead, the daughter is told that the doors of her parents’ houses are PERMANENTLY closed for her. Often after someone gets married, she’s told “Jahan tumhaari doli ja rahe hai, ab wahan se tumhara janaza he nikalna chahiye”.
Here’s something that every parent should be told; a divorced daughter is better than a dead daughter. It is okay if your daughter had a failed marriage, even when the society tells you it is not. Life doesn’t end with a wedding, and there is nothing to be ashamed of. Please, don’t leave your daughter helpless after she moves into her husband’s house; otherwise, the hopelessness and desperation can make them take their own life. We need to put a full stop to treating divorce as a taboo and divorcee as aliens. The tradition of telling girls that they have no option of coming back needs to end, or we will lose more of our daughters to suicide.
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