KARACHI: If there’s any other word that is taboo besides ‘sex’ or ‘menstruation’ in Pakistan, it is ‘divorce’. The stigma attached to the subject makes many, especially women, from talking about it. Not to mention, the blame of failing at marriage always falls on a woman, even talking about one of the most traumatic incidents of one’s life is not considered okay.
While the Aurat March last Friday triggered a lot more sentiments and much less constructive debate, one major conversation that stood out was on ‘divorce. A picture of three women — including lawyer Nighat Dad and journalist Sabahat Zakariya — from Lahore’s aurat march, holding a poster ‘Divorced and happy’ was frowned upon by another Twitter-user, describing herself as “someone born and brought up in London.” See the tweet below:
While several people called her out on her statement and gave her a reality check on how divorce is never a happy decision and there’s nothing wrong to be happy once a person’s difficult marriage is over, what followed has been an eye-opener. People generated a thread on stories of their abusive and toxic marriages and how they reclaimed themselves and utilised their potential to stand up for themselves.
Here are a few mentions of women’s struggles while they fought for divorces, something that is very difficult to get hands on in Pakistani courts, despite Islam giving women the right to ask for a khula:
1. This proud moment for the woman whose teacher forbade others to talk ill of her student’s divorce.
2. Lawyer and Digital Rights Pakistan founder Nighat Dad on her powerful story and acknowledgements.
Dad’s work on internet privacy and for supporting women has also been acknowledged by the government of Pakistan. On International Women’s Day, she along with others was recognized for her work in digital rights.
Even United Nations gave her an honorable mention
3. This woman who’s inspiring on another level
4. This story that goes around and haunts every desi woman
5. This story on how lives do really change after divorce.