"Wife Is A Better Title Than CEO", Adamu Garba: Is Marriage For Everyone?
Is marriage for everyone?
Did you have fantasies of meeting the one, getting your dream wedding and raising kids with the Love of your life? As an institution, marriage is considered one of the bedrocks of society. But when Adamu Garba, former Presidential candidate, tweeted that it is better to be a wife than a "female CEO" we started to wonder, why is marriage so important to society?
Why is marriage important for society?
In social studies class, we were all taught that marriage is a legal union between a man and a woman. As a result of this union, a family springs up which then expands into what we know as a society today. Therefore, it was ingrained in our minds that we are all progressing towards marriage.
However, like Garba’s tweet, the pressure appears to be more intense on women. We are groomed and socialised from a young age to be good wives. Our accomplishments often pale in comparison to our marital status. In fact, as a married woman, you are considered more worthy of respect than a single woman.
In contrast, such pressure is not generally placed on men. At 30, a man is still considered to be in his prime. There’s even a saying that a man is never too old for marriage, so no one bats an eyelid if you choose to get married at 40. In past times, once you get to childbearing age, a marriage would be arranged for you. While child marriage is still common in some parts of Africa, we’ve made some progress. However, it is not uncommon for a woman in her mid-20’s to begin to feel pressure from family, friends and even herself.
I don't know why my stand on polygamy became a source of concern particularly to unmarried ones. You are missing a golden opportunity from my admonition....ladies. Let me tell you, having a title of a WIFE is more important to you that even becoming a female CBN governor. — Adamu Garba II (@adamugarba) February 3, 2020
Is marriage important for everyone?Despite the assumption that women who are unmarried are unhappy, a survey revealed that this is untrue. In a Guardian article, Paul Dolan, a professor of behavioural science reports that marriage and children are not true markers of happiness. We went on to ask some women to tell us why they got married, and if their opinions about marriage had changed. The responses we got were quite interesting.
- I got married because it was expected after school
- Inspired by a broken home background
- It is about how much crap you can take from a person
I wanted someone to raise the next generation with
- I didn’t want to disappoint my mother
I got married because that was the logical thing to do after school and you start working, according to society. I also did not want to disappoint my mum. However, my opinion as changed now and I would not put anyone under pressure to marry.
Based on the responses we got, some women chose marriage because society programmed it as the logical next step. But for others, they knew it was what they wanted and went for it. And there's the other sect who have experienced it and agree it’s great but they understand that it is not exactly what defines us. As Adebola said, “I try to educate my unmarried friends. Don’t kill yourself because you are not married. If it happens, great. If it doesn’t please live your life”
While some people view marriage as a contract between two people, some regard it as a sacred institution ordained by God. In the end, society is built on the relationships that are formed as result of marriage. Families, communities, and tribes are all connected because of marriage.
*Interviews have been edited for clarity.