Malala Yousafzai clarifies stance on marriage

Four months prior to announcing that she tied the knot, the youngest Nobel Prize winner had questioned the entire institution of marriage.


By Aliya Zuberi

KARACHI: Congratulations are in order for the youngest Nobel Prize winner Malala Yousafzai, who recently took to social media to announce her marriage. While many are happy for the new couple, some were still a bit confused. Just four months ago, Malala had said in an interview with British Vogue that she didn’t believe in the institution of marriage, “I still don’t understand why people have to get married. If you want to have a person in your life, why do you have to sign marriage papers, why can’t it just be a partnership?” So, what changed the young activist’s mind? Malala recently dropped another statement clarifying her stance on marriage.

Malala talked about how her view on marriage had been tainted because of the experiences of those around her, “Many girls I grew up with were married even before they had the opportunity to decide on a career for themselves. One friend had a child when she was just 14-years-old.” She went on to talk about how so many girls were forced to drop out of school to get married and how it bothered her, “Their parents decided that their education was not worth the cost.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Malala (@malala)

And so she felt that marriage just might not be for her, “I found it hard to think of the concept of marriage, of one day being someone’s wife. I said what I had so often said before – that maybe it was possible that marriage was not for me.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Malala (@malala)

So what changed Malala’s stance on marriage? She said that once she met her husband Asser who is also her best friend she found herself wondering, “But what if there was another way?” She went on to explain that, “With education, awareness and empowerment, we can start to redefine the concept of marriage and the structure of relationships, along with many other social norms and practices.” She added, “My conversations with my friends, mentors and my now partner Asser helped me consider how I could have a relationship – a marriage – and remain true to my values of equality, fairness and integrity.”

Malala tied the knot on 9th November in an intimate ceremony in Birmingham.

Read More