Why an increasing number of marriages failing in the 21st century is a big question mark on our cultural norms & values. A few decades ago divorce was a rising trend in western countries & we would hardly hear anyone in Pakistan getting divorced. But now it is a rising trend among married couples in Pakistan despite the fact that it is still considered a taboo & getting the label of being divorced is still considered to be a wrong choice by many.
The answer lies in the fact that more than 90% of women face domestic violence, a report by Pakistan’s Human Rights Commission states. This indicates that every 4 out of 5 married women have been victims of domestic violence at some point in their lives. This shows that even the most educated & civilized men of our society are involved in domestic violence through physical or mental abuse and are inflicting mental torture on their spouses.
Domestic violence is one of the major causes that leads towards divorce. According to experts’ poll by Thomas Reuters Foundation, 2011, Pakistan is the 3rd most dangerous country for women; Afghanistan & Congo being on 1st & 2nd positions, respectively. Rising intolerance among young men & women in Pakistan is a major cause. Another reason why domestic violence is on the rise is that women are getting higher education & want to pursue their choice of career even after marriage which means they are more financially & mentally independent as compared to women of previous generations. Now since our power driven controlling men want to see their wives as obeying robot who are like a remote control & work on the given directions only, they cannot tolerate the present state of urban women & become furious on seeing her as being equal in financial or mental status.
This means that our patriarchal society does not give due status to women that they deserve or earn. While writing about the state of women in Pakistan, my heart is crying. Who can forget the heart-wrenching incidents where a husband killed his wife over not preparing iftar of his choice and another one killed his wife over not making him a cup of tea just a couple of months ago, as reported by local news channels. This is the price of the life of women in Pakistan. You don’t like the way she is, kill her. This is the extreme form of domestic violence.
Another major dilemma of our society that leads to dissolution of marriage is “not being able to produce a baby boy”. Science has advanced so much that you can identify the gender of your unborn baby much before he/she lands into the world. If it’s a boy, the mother is hailed & showered with blessings & praises but if it’s a girl, she is blamed & held responsible for producing a baby girl. She is continuously abused & tortured by her in-laws and sometimes the issue leads to divorce.
This is a scientific & modern era that we are living in. Western countries have landed on Mars, discovered galaxies, invented smartphones & flying cars, built universities where modern research is carried out & we are still into mother-in-law & daughter-in-law quandary. Husbands are still beating their wives for not “listening” to or obeying them. If we keep our heads buried in sand like ostriches, chances are meek that we’ll sooner be listed among top countries where human rights are respected, where women are living their lives free & independent without the fear of being beaten up by husbands or getting killed or divorced.
Power hungry men of our controlled society need to treat their wives as humans who have free-will & free-mind. They need to know that living life in a ruler-slave relationship will give no good to the family & society.