By Aisha Mahmud Yusuf
A few days ago, Dr Muhsin Ibrahim shared a story about a divorcee whose ex-husband refused to pay her medical bills. This is a familiar story as it happens to many people in our society.
I know of a divorced woman with three kids who has nowhere to go. Another woman was in an abusive marriage. When asked why she wouldn’t leave her husband, she said that he took care of her financial needs.
There’s also this woman whose husband was a serial womaniser and a drunkard, yet she couldn’t leave him because she has no means to sustain herself as her parents are dead.
In this society, a woman will be married off with no skill or education. Then get divorced and be left to start from scratch, thanks to the stigma attached to divorcees. No woman should be in an abusive marriage or miserable because she lacks financial independence.
Parents should let their girls finish at least secondary school and ensure they learn a skill. Those who finished higher institutions should be allowed to work or engage in business. The time to stay idle for women has passed. We should not let this poverty and misery cycle continue.
A woman should be financially independent regardless of her marital status. In case of divorce or the husband’s death, she should be able to care for herself and her children at least.
There’s no denying that our marriage institution needs reform, and the time to do so is now. Alhamdulillah, our scholars are now discussing it, but we need action. There is a need for sensitisation across rural as well as urban communities.
Girl-child education should be supported. There are many opportunities for learning that women can learn in the comfort of their homes, and they should be encouraged to do so.
Aisha Mahmud Yusuf wrote via email@example.com.
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