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I've been thinking about marriage lately (a lot!). I just graduated and people are wondering if I'm planning on getting engaged soon. In my culture, you go to university to study and find Mr. Right (I don't believe in Mr. Right, I believe in Mr.Alright). There is so much pressure on young women to tie the knot. They are pressured to get married before reaching the spinster age , it's about 24. This goes back to how the society views women, their contribution to their community is summarized in one word," reproduction".

Women are getting married at a young age. My mum was married at 25. Most of my cousins were married at 19, 20, 21 or the late age of 22. I'm 20 and I already feel the pressure. Marriage is such a big issue, every other "achievement" is overlooked. It doesn't matter whether you are doing your PHD, if you are single, you simply don't measure up to the society's expectations!

Sigh, Sigh, Sigh....

Attached is a picture of a Sudanese wedding. This is probably day 5 of 7 long days.

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Comments

Fatima Waziri's picture

Kizzie i believe a woman

Kizzie i believe a woman should get married when she is psychologically ready to and she has found that one person she wants to be with. I do not believe one should get married because society says it is time for you to get married or due to family pressure. Everyone's destiny is different. your mum got married at 25 that fine, your cousins are getting married at 19,20,21.....good for them. My point is, what happens to others has absolutely nothing to do with you, again we all have different destinies.

Peace!
Fatima

noora's picture

choices, choices....

Kizzie,
I feel you, pressure to get married is always there, my cousins are all married and have kids. I am 27 yrs old and i refuse to be coerced into marriage. When i meet a man, i can share my life with, then i will get married. For now, i am enjoying every minute of being single:)
P.s. Have you watched the movie 'He is just not that into you"?
Have a lovely week.

Kizzie's picture

I totally agree with you

I totally agree with you Fatwaz. I just can't help but feel bad for women because of the pressure they face to get married. It's completely unnecessary and pointless. I guess I can't escape this society , but I just need to spread the world that you need to get married when you meet the right person for you.

Noora,
I can't wait to watch this movie! I have heard so much about it! Now, I have to watch it. It seems that the pressure is all over the world!

Maria de Chirikof's picture

Stay single for now!

It is what I tell my girls, that I would really prefer they get educated, find a job, find a career they care about, make friends, travel, travel, and travel some more before settling down. Not that I am against a woman who chooses marriage for herself, I believe it needs to be a free choice is all.

Being a strong, happy, independent single woman will help other young girls find the courage to do it too since pressure from family and loved ones is hard to resist at times!

"Follow your heart and you can deal with wherever you are", I forget where I read that but always liked it.

Maria

Dear Kizzie,
Namasakar,
This is what I was thinking to post but before me you post. Most of my cousins and neighbor sisters married in early ages such as 16-19 but till now I am single. Now my parents are proposing me to marry someone which they called Mr. Right as in your word. They want me to get marry when I will be back on July 9th, 2009. Isn't that funny? I have many dream to do and study. But thanks god I can again convience them because today I got full scholarship for my future study.
HUuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuurrrrrrrrrrrrraaaaaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyyyyy

With Love and Regards
Sunita Basnet

Aishwarya's picture

hey Kizzie, '(I don't believe

hey Kizzie,

'(I don't believe in Mr. Right, I believe in Mr.Alright)'. pretty practical of you too, Mr . Right doesnt exist. :)

Seriously though, I think the pressure to get young women married is a near-universal one.

But in a recent trend, in urban India, more and more women are getting married late, say, in their late 20s/early 30s and having babies even later. And their parents seem to be falling into the groove gradually. That is not to say its a piece of cake now, wanting to stay single for as long as you want to. But yes, women are savvier and sassier.

I hope you get to make your own decisions like you always have and hold out till you find your mate. The family might grumble, but in the end, they do want to see you happy, ja?

Take care and have a great day!

Aishwarya

Kizzie's picture

Hello Aishwarya, Thanks for

Hello Aishwarya,

Thanks for your comment. It's interesting to learn more about marriage trends in India! Is it different in the rural areas? Back home, lower classes get married later sometimes because of the lack of resources , but the upper classes can afford to get married earlier. Of course it's not always black and white, there is a huge grey area,
Like you said, it's all about being happy and you have to make the right choice. It's a difficult process and you need the space and the freedom to make this decision.
I also think it's part of the culture for people to introduce you to possible suitors! Do you have that in India?

Kizzie

Aishwarya's picture

Hi again! yes, there is

Hi again! yes, there is predictably a difference in the attitude towards marriage,empowering women and such in rural and small-town India. In villages for instance, girls still get married. People there are still conservative, though you do often get to hear about and meet progressive folks from that segment who have the courage to make the leap to the 21st century - educate their girls beyond school and encourage them to be independent. Can't generalize really since the country is such an amalgam of contrasts, but the truth is India is still a fairly traditional country.

Ah yes, we Indians are masters of the 'arranged marriage' setup...its an age-old tradition that doesnt seem to lose its sheen ever...that is not to say, young people don't marry out of choice....its a mixed basket really and depends on how conservative your parents are really or how submissive you are, despite your socioeconomic status.

Personally, I married somebody I loved and it was okay with our families too...thats pretty much the case for most people I know...though the ones who are still single and havent found Mr. or Ms. Right, find it convenient to turn to the matchmaking setup and give marriage a shot. :D

Cheers,

Aishwarya

Aishwarya's picture

oops, i meant 'girls still

oops, i meant 'girls still get married really young' in rural India.... :)

Sophie's picture

Oh the universallity of issues

Kizzie and others,
It was so nice to read your post and comments and I just wondered...oh this is so universal!! I am a Kenyan, 33 yrs old and marriage doesn't seem to be in the very near future. For some reason society continues to gauge a woman's worth by her reproductive roles. I don't experience any pressure from my family...but the pressure is all over. Friends will keep asking so when is the big day? I have learned to answer 'what big day? I was not aware there is one'! but in the process i have stopped taking male friends home...lovers or friends it doesn't matter, coz someone will be like 'is he the one? My stand has been that marriage can be when you are 20 or 40, it all depends on you, you have to be ready for it, not age to dictate. A friend of mine made me happy when her parents kept pressuring her since she had planned a wedding then she decided it was not yet time despite the fact that they are still together with the fiance. her mother asked her 'you know you are not getting any younger? you want to get kids after 40?. She laughed it off as she told her mother, we are in 21st century mom don't worry, i can get wet nurse!!

On the other hand pressure especially from friends and society continues but one has to realize it is HER LIFE.

Sophie Ngugi
Child of the Universe -www.sophiengugi.blogspot.com

Kizzie's picture

Hey Sophie, It's funny, I was

Hey Sophie,

It's funny, I was thinking about updating this journal post. I just found out today that my cousin, she is 19, younger than me, got engaged and my other cousin (age 21) is getting married soon! I kept thinking, now I'm gonna be asked this question especially since one of them is younger! Like you said, it doesn't matter when you get married, it's all about finding the right person. I love the title of your comment! I grew up thinking marriage isn't as important to American women for example and my American professor told me she was pressured when she turned 25. So there is pressure everywhere!

Good luck and keep us updated on the comments you get, I will do the same thing when I go to Sudan in September;)

love,
Kizzie

Sophie's picture

the pressure!!!

I hear you Kizzie!!! it is an issue that we rarely discuss yet very crucial. I wish you the best. I welcome you to join our network of young women and share more on our website where you can also share your blogs at www.ywli.org.

Sophie Ngugi
Child of the Universe -www.sophiengugi.blogspot.com

Kizzie's picture

I totally agree Sophie.

I totally agree Sophie. Thanks for telling me about ywli.org, I looked at their website before:)

Once again, great picture!
Kizzie

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