By Mira Khatib
Who doesn’t want a sense of security, stability, a true sense of happiness and satisfaction? In many cultures and especially evident in Arab cultures, girls are conditioned from a very young age that her security and happiness will come from finding a man. Don’t get me wrong there is nothing wrong in finding the right partner and getting married, it is after all the circle of life, and how societies grow and prosper.
It is not marriage I’m against but against feeding our girls the illusion of what a man may or may not offer her, making her focus more on seeking a husband; than focusing on developing herself to grow into an independent successful woman.
Many young girls take the easy way out believing that just like they were provided for by their parents and taken care of, then once married this role of providing will continue by her husband, not just financially but emotionally as well. The problem here is that unfortunately many of those girls go on to discover that the man they chose was far from providing security or stability (prince charming does not exist). It might not be that the man turns out to be an immoral person, but other circumstances may come into play. Maybe financially he will need her support and having double income would be a necessity. Or maybe she will end up a widow and need to stand on her own two feet to provide for herself and children. Maybe with the escalating divorce rates she will end up single again and become a financial burden on other family members. Never should our daughters feel like they have become an inconvenience to others.
In this very demanding day and age, it is vital to raise our daughters to make themselves a priority and put the focus on seeking a path that will help them grow into their own independent, confident selves. How to do this? Education, knowledge and more learning. We must encourage our daughters to invest in themselves starting with good education. They need to realize the importance of doing so. We must teach our daughters to think for themselves; to be able to make wise choices, not to depend even for their emotional happiness and satisfaction on anyone else, it should come from within.
When a girl is shielded with her education and doesn’t depend on seeking approval to feel worthy only then she will possess the needed qualities to be a great mother and an active member of the community. Of course she can be an equal partner that can stand by her man, in good times and bad, to be a contributor to her family not just financially if desired or needed but also raise her kids with the same principles of seeking education, knowledge, and independence to be successful in life and feel fulfilled and satisfied.
How many times have we heard of women stuck in dead end marriages because they didn’t have a way out, and couldn’t support themselves? Or others that lived their lives to raise their children and neglected themselves in the process only to wake up one day and realize their role as mothers was cut short, their kids all grown up and moved on and their services no longer needed. It is fine for a woman to choose to stay home and raise her children but she must never lose sight of who she is as a woman, and keep on self-developing, for the day will come when she would want to seek alternatives, having the right tools will give her options.
So let’s not send out the wrong message to our daughters and say, “It doesn’t matter if they study or what they study as in the end their diplomas will be hung only as a décor in their kitchen walls.” Let us instill in our children that girls are as worthy in earning education and independence as boys, in fact it is vital for them.
Our daughters are valuable treasures, who have strong influence and impact as they raise future generations. Let us never undermine their significance in society, let us empower them and help them in paving their path to success.
Photo credit: ondrej.lipar / Foter / CC BY-SA