Community Update

Digital Empowerment Toolkit Now Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits aim to provide the resources you need to advance your social change work.

We are excited to introduce our Digital Empowerment Trainers’ Toolkit, a dynamic resource to help you bring the benefits of connecting online to women in your community. Check it out today! »

I am marriage-less, They Think so!

Journey is a very challenging word to me. It does makes me close my eyes and remember how past years of my life were. I am an Egyptian woman, finished the first year of my third decade. The age of maturity but age of burdens and blames.
Though I brought up in a middle- class family to parents that could not finish their education, I was blessed by their help and support that made me finish my high education in a reputable college and to work in an international organization as a journalist. I traveled a lot, which something that was abnormal to the community I live in. Traditions say that it is not good for single ladies to travel alone. But I took the blame and traveled to Europe, America, and Asia, caring less to the voices that pointing at me whispering that I break the traditions and live on my own, in such an eastern community. Parents supported me so much, but still neighbors and family members show no understanding.
Coming to the age of burdens, being a single in 30s is not a funny fact. In traditional communities it may become a shame for the woman to stay without marriage till this age. This has less to do with religion, but more to do with customs and traditions. Woman stays without marriage it means she is not desirable, she is not a well- mannered woman, or she suffers from a complex that holds her to be approached by men.
No matter what rank you reach, what education you gained, or what good personality you are, people will talk about your weak point, seeing you marriage-less, as if it is your fault. Woman in her 30s must go and bring a husband, otherwise she will be underestimated. Left to age blame and marriage-less blame.
I live this dilemma, and I hate hearing questions from family members, neighbors, and friends about why I did not marry yet. Some even advise me to accept any suitors whether he is the right man to me or not. Main target is “marriage” per se.
As love is a vital condition for marriage, mutual understanding, intimacy, and matching are important pillars in good martial relations. To some in eastern people, it suffices that man loves woman, it does not matter if she loves him or not. She will get used to him!
For me, I never give up. It is my right to find the suitable partner, no matter how old I am. But to some other women, stress can make them accept any body, or to decide to get married and then divorced, only for the sake of shutting up the tongues that blame them.
I have a vision and a belief which is I am what I want to be. I am an entity, body and soul, created to decide for myself.
As for marriage, I want it, but at the end of the day the decision is mine, not their.

Comments

Maddy M.'s picture

Well, said!!! It's similar in

Well, said!!! It's similar in my country. When you reach that age people expect you to be married and have chlidren, so I'm marriage-less too :)

Rasha's picture

Yeah!

it is a global problem, dear. Has nothing to do with nationality, race, or even religion. I deem in the very developed countries this issue is a burden on women's shoulders too.

It takes time till ppl understand that this is not our fault.

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say you yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"
Rasha Mohammad
Managing Ed

usha kc's picture

Hello Rasha,, I can feel

Hello Rasha,, I can feel you der.

hatts off to your courage and your parents!!
big hug

Rasha's picture

Thank you, Usha

Thank you, dear Usha. Life always needs courage if we want to lead it with its ups and downs... no matter how challenges are hard, we can make the best out of them. Still, I do want to get married, but following my agenda :)

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say you yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"
Rasha Mohammad
Managing Ed

Ariee's picture

hey!

Hey Rasha!

I really admire the fact that you went all the way to do what you thought was right for you. I really wish I can have the kind of inner strength that you have :)

Astha Joshi

Rasha's picture

Of course you do

Everybody has a powerful point, dear. Of course you have sth that I lack and strive for. You just look the other way around... you will find many many challenges you defeated.

it is up to us at the end of the day

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say you yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"
Rasha Mohammad
Managing Ed

RenKiss's picture

I can see where you're coming

I can see where you're coming from. A couple of my friends are already engaged to be married soon. I haven't gotten hassled by my family yet :P. But it seems like you're going against the grain and that bothers people, judging from your post you seem to live a fulfilling life.

"For me, I never give up. It is my right to find the suitable partner, no matter how old I am. But to some other women, stress can make them accept any body, or to decide to get married and then divorced, only for the sake of shutting up the tongues that blame them."

THIS.

You're absolutely correct. Many women do this to appease their family and friends, also you have those women who desire to be married so badly they become desperate and marry just anyone but end up being in an unhappy marriage.

Like you, I want to find love and get married on my own terms.

Deewai's picture

Hi, I agree with you. What's

Hi, I agree with you. What's the point in hurrying? And we should make choices for ourselves because we are the ones who will live our lives not other people :)

Okeny-Lucia's picture

I agree

Hey,
Rasha you got lost but welcome sister to Pulse ,where every story pulsates with dignity.I see your experience as a foundation of strength to the Egyptian women.I get so excited reading news from the Muslim women,when they have excelled through thick and thin.My great woman of strength was Benazir Bhutto,I see her characters in you.
Good language command and thank you.Let me hear your thoughts on my controversial topic.
Thank you

Lucia Buyanza
Reproductive Health

Rasha's picture

Are not We?

Thank you dear Lucia for this nice and encouraging comment. Bhutto is one of the example I admire, Funny note is that some who see shaping my hijab like Bhutto think that we have similar appearance. But hey, Egypt is not that close to Pakistan... it is in different continent.

Some times I pause and think how it is difficult to be a Muslim woman and an eastren. But i find it more difficult to be a Muslim woman and a western, as in this case you are a minority, too :)

But fact is some challenges do not differ between Muslim and non- Muslim, east and west. They r facing women all the way.

No easy, but never impossible.

I would like to read your topic.

Stay in touch... and let me know more about your project, too

Rasha

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say you yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"
Rasha Mohammad
Managing Ed

Okeny-Lucia's picture

Thanks Rasha

Glad to get in touch with you again.
My post is in the week three assignment.When you log in the classroom taxonomy you will be able to get my article.
Thank you and good weekend.

Lucia Buyanza
Reproductive Health

KathyG's picture

First and foremost

First and foremost we must love and have respect for ourselves. You show that through your post. Many don't realize this until a much older age. I can't imagine how tough it is in your culture to go against the norm. You show such grace and wisdom, that I'm sure even those that hassle you, have respect for you (even though they would never admit it).

Best wishes,
Kathy

Rasha's picture

Some one to be blamed

Thank you, Kathy for your input.

Well, I think the whole fuss is to find some body to take all the blame. it should be someone/something wrong. So instead of searching for the roots of the marriage problems either social or economic, many like to blame the women hehehe.

Of course it is out of love and respect, but if they exceed doing that, they cause a psychological problem for the lady that may lead her to rush and go with any man for the sake of "shutting them up" or to drop the idea of marriage altogether as a reaction to the stress put on her shoulders.

Community must understand that marriage is decision taken by two then shared with their families. It is not an election campaign :D

R.

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say you yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"
Rasha Mohammad
Managing Ed

mrbeckbeck's picture

Insightful

Hi Rasha,

I loved this piece. It is so insightful... very personal, but still with a global interest! I applaud your commitment to your personal truth, and know that when you are good and ready some man will be very lucky to have a strong woman like you in his life.

Not many people are so willing to listen more closely to themselves, and bow to the pressure of society... there are so many pressures! So, good for you, and good luck on being the best woman you can be!

Thanks for being here,
Scott

Scott Beck
World Pulse Online Community Volunteer

Rasha's picture

Lift me up

Oh Scott, your comment means a lot to me. Reading such an opinion from a person like you is encouraging.

Thanks for this note.

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say you yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"
Rasha Mohammad
Managing Ed

salamatu's picture

I Feel You

Dear Rasha,

I feel you even though i got married before the age of thirty
i grew up in an area where early marriage is being
practised.

Most of my friends are not married and i know
what they are going through and how people are talking about them.

Dont mind them Allah's time is the best.

Salamatu

Rasha's picture

God will show the way

True, dear Salamatu. God is always good to me. He is the One who can guide when time becomes so hard, and stresses get so tough.

I am happy to read your kind comment. As much as I am sure how you rightly feel your friends and try to support them. It must be very stressful over there for them to be 30s and still single.

You may share with us some glance about the tradition of marriage in your country :)

Wish you the best!

Rasha

"You gain strength, courage, and confidence by every experience by which you really stop to look fear in the face. You are able to say you yourself, 'I lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.'"
Rasha Mohammad
Managing Ed

salamatu's picture

Sure

I will find time to post something on that.

Thanks
Salamatu

mirette's picture

Rasha, I'm happy to come

Rasha, I'm happy to come across your article. I'm from Egypt too and I never stop talking with my friends about this issue. We have a relationship problems in Egypt because of the wrong perceptions we have about dating and marriage. The more educated and strong the woman in Egypt becomes, the less she is satisfied with the way marriages are arranged and happen. I believe that one should focus on her self development and realizing her dreams in life, and sooner or later, she will meet the man that is a good match for her.

Thanks for bringing this up!

Mirette

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Inside Congo's Growing Sisterhood

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

PAKISTAN: They Went to School and Never Came Back

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Announcing Our Prize Winners!

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative