Friday, September 07, 2012

Blog 2 Love and Free Will

Blog 2
7 September 2012

Love and Free Will Challenge Traditional Pakistani Family Ties
Meghan Davidson Ladly
5 September 2012

In 2003 it became legal for women to get married without the consent of the woman’s guardian. This was one of the major changes that have allowed Pakistani women to claim their independence.

I believe this article is a great example of how globalization can have a change on culture. Ladly explains that many of the Pakistani women are choosing to not follow their cultural norms and accept the arrangement of marriage. Rather these women are deciding to engage in what they call a “free will marriage” this is the type of marriage Americans are accustomed to, when partners pick each other. Mahnaz Rahman, the resident director of the Aurat Foundation, a women’s rights organization explains that the “girls of this modern age” are not afraid of the dangerous repercussions that they face if they choose to “dishonor” their family and have a free will marriage. Rahman says that “they are taking steps because they can’t conform to the values of their parents.” Landly interviewed Nursrat Mochi and her husband Abbas Bhatti to get an inside perspective on what life can be like after free will marriage. Mochi explained that her parents have sent people to kill her and her husband so she is no longer able to care about them. Landly explains that this is not an unusual happening after free will marriages. In 2011 the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan reported that 943 women were murdered and of that 219 of them were because the women wanted to choose their own spouse.

I believe the law that was passed in 2003 coupled with preexisting desires for change by Pakistani women and globalization has allowed these women the opportunity to assert “their rights against the traditions of forced marriage and parental authority”. Although arranged marriages were culturally relative during the period they were accepted I believe the women of the culture now are publicly disagreeing with its current relativity.  It appears that these women are in search for some of their human rights that they inherently possess particularly in terms of marriage and happiness.  

Mahnaz Rahman suggests that the conflicts surrounding free will marriages “has neither to do with law nor with religion,” but rather “it has to do with culture. It has to do with lack of education.”
When these women opt for a free will marriage they are “implicitly challenging one of the most powerful institutions in Pakistani society: the family”.

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