OUR MESSAGE TO WOMEN & PARENTS
Women’s Rights Confer Power and Dignity
Traditionally Pakistani and other Asian parents have arranged marriages. Now with a deeper understanding of women’s rights, and given the expanded roles of women in contemporary society, women must become involved in the marital decision-making process too. Marriages, whether they are arranged, or where a man and woman select each other, are loving partnerships that are based on equality and respect. Supporting a daughter’s participation and choices mean empowering her, and believing in her.
Our Married Daughters Will Always Have a Home with Us
Parents have their daughter’s best interests at heart, but our traditions have made it difficult for us to help them when their marriages are abusive or cause suffering. Parents have many responsibilities and pressures, and feel relieved when their daughters are well settled. Many abused women report that their parents did not believe them when they shared their abusive experiences. Some even blamed their daughters for the abuse, making them feel more miserable and lonelier than before. Parents do need to let their daughters know that they will always be welcomed back if anything goes wrong, that they do not need to suffer to be considered good women, and that they have a right to live with dignity and in peace.
A Cautionary Note!
No matter how thoroughly a potential husband is checked out, there is no guarantee that this process ensures a potential wife’s safety. Women and parents must avoid a false sense of security, or the pressure to accept when they have doubts. This booklet focuses on rishta’s from abroad, but even when a man is in Pakistan, from your neighbourhood, or your family, there are no assurances about his good character or behaviour.