No matter how much fame and money a woman amasses, her success is measured in terms of her marriage. A woman is not successful until she settles down in a good family with a well-earning groom. Her achievement is not her degrees and zeroes in her salary but her marital family’s status. If a woman marries into a well-to-do family, she is considered successful. But if she settles down with a man who earns less than her, or what her family expects a groom to, then her life is touted to be a giant failure.
The problem behind this conception is the idea that marriage is hailed as the destiny of a woman. A woman is considered complete only if she has a family of her own. No no don’t get it wrong, a woman’s own family is not the one that consists of her parents, but the one consisting of her husband, children and in-laws. When she marries, that’s when a woman truly gains a family, according to our society. But due to these twisted ideas of success and family, parents often end up derailing the education and careers of their daughters. They believe that their daughter cannot have a good life just backed by her individual achievements.
Successful women: Let us change the definition
Even when some women earn a job, they are forced to quit or set smaller professional goals for themselves after marriage to prioritise their responsibilities as wives and bahu. With the burden of household chores and childcare duties falling on them, goals like flourishing career and financial independence take a backseat. According to data compiled by the World Bank, the number of working women in India dropped from 26 percent to 19 percent between 2010 and 2020.
Don’t women have the right to educate and empower themselves as men do? Don’t they deserve applause for the hard work they put into their studies and jobs? Why do we continue to belittle women’s achievements and glorify marriage and motherhood?
The success of a woman should be defined in terms of her achievements. Finding the right groom is secondary to a woman’s success in her personal life. As far as finding a good groom is concerned, it is not a race or competition. A groom can be good if the woman loves him. Because no matter which class a man belongs to, he will be a good match for a woman only if he respects a woman’s choices and loves her unconditionally, also committing to share the load of matrimonial duties.
So dear parents stop making your daughters run in the rate race of finding a rich groom. Rather help your daughters to independent and successful. Marriage is a part of life and not the exam that determines a woman’s status in society.
Views expressed are the author’s own.