Miss (pronounced) is an English language word traditionally used only for an unmarried woman. Originating in the 17th century, it is a contraction of mistress, which was used for all women. A period is not used to signify the short form. In this sense “missed marriage” is a woman who can’t be married to someone due to their custom or traditions.
Gilgit-Baltistan (GB), a heavenly part of the world, is a place where life is still in it’s evolutionary stage. If someone wants to know how life originated in the world and how did the people manage to survive in the beginning, s/he should come to GB.
As far as the topic is concerned, no proper research has been done regarding miss-marriages in Gilgit-Baltistan, except for some of the NOGs operating in the region.
Marriage is believed to be a very vital part of the culture and traditions of the people of Gilgit-Baltistan. The region is scattered over 72,000 sq. km of land but belonging from the same blood-cast inhabitants of the region are inter-related with each other and practice the same traditions throughout Gilgit-Baltistan. Despite of speaking various languages, the inhabitants of the region always behave in the same manner throughout Gilgit-Baltistan and had always been promoting inter-communal harmony amongst themselves.
After going through some reports made by some NGOs, it becomes evident that the ratio of miss-marriages in Gilgit-Baltistan is comparatively less as compared to other parts of Pakistan. The current rate and the ratio of miss-marriages taken from the previous reports and projects clarify the issue and give an insight, regarding factors which cause the miss-marriages, to the readers.
In the light of prior work done by different social scientists and researchers, I have come up with many reasons, factors and solutions of this dilemma of injustice and cruelties of human beings. Many of the factors of miss-marriages in Gilgit-Baltistan are quite same as the other regions of Pakistan, like, some primitive customs, forceful marriages, early age marriages, after marriage atrocities, economical crisis, and death of spouse and ethnic differences.
All the mentioned factors do exist in Gilgit-Baltistan and many NGOs have showed their strong concern over the rising rate of miss-marriages causing suicides sometimes. Some recent studies in the region show a catastrophic increase in female suicidal rate, and resultantly the main reason was the un-fair or forceful marriages of educated girls with illiterate men.
More than 20 women had taken their lives in the recent years, creating an alarming situation for the humanitarian groups and social welfare organizations of the region. Some effective steps are needed to be taken to stop this flow of deaths, NGO’s are trying their level best to spread awareness among the general masses and educate them about the divisive impact of miss-marriages on a woman’s life. It is noticed that the never-married women as well as the widows in the already conducted surveys in Gilgit-Baltistan’s different areas, tend to be more skeptical than others that a woman can lead a complete and fulfilled life if she remains single. This may reflect the fact that miss-married or never-married women tend to be less satisfied and frantic with their current lives than is the rest of the population.
Department of Women Development in Gilgit-Baltistan has initiated many projects to enhance the standards of ordinary women, to give them self-confidence and strengthen their self-esteem. Women of Gilgit-Baltistan are quite capable of competing men and women of other areas in any field, if proper attention and opportunities are provided.
Hyder Abbas is a Gilgit based contributor. He blogs at http://hyderabbas.wordpress.com/