While our society makes tall claims of protecting women from ‘danger’, it is not hidden from us that here women’s freedom of expression is suppressed blatantly. The decision making concerning the institution of marriage in particular is completely dominated by the will of men. Families do not take into consideration the desires of the girl who is to be married. In fact, they make every attempt to trample on her choices and safeguard theirs. The families do however give the impression of seeking the girl’s permission. The truth is that they coerce the girl into believing that the choice they are making for her is the right one. Unfortunately, the society always sides with the parents under the notion that they have more worldly experience. The hapless women who do marry a man of their own choice are typically labelled as the black sheep of the society. These girls become a social stigma, always looked down upon. Those who consider themselves as the champions of societal norms should ask themselves; is it correct to label a woman’s character just because she made a decision for herself? Just because she did not let herself be treated like cattle, driven around by a stick? Women have every right to decide and achieve what they want. 

MUHAMMAD BILAL SARWAR,  

Sialkot, August 22.