Social norms that are encouraged based on the wrong reasons rarely lead to any bright future at all.
Marriage according to some girls is perceived as an extremely important matter. They view marriage to be liberating as they think they will finally be allowed to travel, go out late at night, dress up as they like, try out stuff their parents restricted them to do because of the “You can do this at your husband’s house!” mentality. Sometimes even, smoking cigarettes or behaving in a certain way is more socially acceptable when a married woman does them than when a girl does.
Women are, in my opinion, the main reason we live in a patriarchal society. In most girls communities, ever since they were little, marriage is constantly brought into any subject that involves them. From the minute a girl is done with highschool, marriage related decisions are practically made. We also see some parents discourage their daughters from joining a college that will make her career involve a lot of travelling or lead to an unstable future marriage life, even if it’s the girl’s dream. Sometimes, paying a lot of money for a girl’s education is frowned upon because “She would get married and end up as a housewife at the end!” killing any ambition or motivation in a girl’s mind.
When girls reach their 20s, they usually hear the famous “I hope we see you a bride soon!” wishing them marriage, rather than graduating from college which is actually the most appropriate thing anybody would be wishing a human being in that age, but in our society, this wish is catching “Mr. Right”. Parents magically turn from restricting their daughters to date or hangout with any guy or getting involved in any romantic relationship with a person from the other sex, to encouraging them to find a husband, because they want to secure their daughter’s future.
Even if a girl was able to defy all the laws of the obligation of marriage because of society, and decided not to get married all together and lead a career of her own, or contribute to society, she is usually viewed as miserable and lonely, and people pity her rather than encourage her to become more, regardless if she was the CEO of some multinational company or any other successful thing.
This lead to the fact that the majority of women in Egypt are housewives. They are totally dependent on their husbands.
If the husband cheated, was abusive or even if she was simply not happy, divorce is a very hard decision, not because the children will suffer and all that, but because women cannot “afford” to be single.
The fact that a girl’s life decisions must revolve around her future husband’s impression and her future family’s well-being is very belittling to the self of a woman, and completely ignores the needs and ambition of a female.
A woman must be able to afford a life for herself and her children alone, even if she was married to the richest man in the world. Encouraging our daughters to work and build a career before marriage is what truly means securing the future for our girls. A woman must have the choice to be independent, but whether she chooses to be or not to be must ultimately be a choice she can make.
Edited by : Hania Assem