The Spiky Path Of Marriage In India

By Lucy Garcia 

January 8, 2023
Leah Abucayan CNN

Forced marriage in India has been a problem for centuries. According to Rhea mogul in an article she wrote , statistically, 17.6%  of more than 100,000 women ages 15–49 say they are unable to say no to their husbands if they don’t want sex. This is a problem still going on today, because India’s government is run by patriarchal leaders who believe women should be submissive to their husbands while putting a hold on their aspirations. It's overwhelming for the women that go through these situations, because they aren't allowed to get an education or get ta job. This makes it more difficult for them to get out of these circumstances. Take Nusrat’s testimony for example,  “I am not educated. I did not study. I cannot work or earn money for myself. I continue to live under his roof for the sake of my kids, no other reason. 

  The majority of marriages in India's population are arranged. Despite them being family they focus on things like their statuses, assets, and complexion. Some families go as far as making profiles like the ones you see on dating sites, but have a dehumanizing nature to them. For instance, instead of saying your hobbies or interests, they would put things like their weight, blood type, skin tone, and religion. 

Vidya was forced into an arranged marriage by her father at the age of 19. Her husband raped her on the night of her wedding, and she states “I became scared because I did not know him.I did not say anything – not no, not yes – and he never asked.”  Although the child marriage restraint act was passed in 1978 prohibiting women to marry below the age of 18, 19 is still too young to get married considering the  lack of education on sex and relationships given to young women. 

Since the majority of marriages in India are arranged, people who go against this norm are met with hostility. Society's expectations about how women should act and the roles in marriage often lead to backlash. Not only is society trying to have a say in these women’s lives, but women are having to endure being perceived as object, by their own family as well.