WOW | What You Think

WHAT A GIRL MUST KNOW BEFORE GETTING MARRIED?

WOW spoke with a list of experts who advise on their areas of expertise about what a girl MUST know before tying the knot.

Compiled by: Anushka Shrestha
wow photo file © Ram Tandukar/Gokul Shrees/Sabina Mainali

Parisha Shrestha
Legal Associate & Teacher

Firstly, a woman should know that marriage is basically a social contract. It is a social license to do and not to do a list of things which is backed by a legal certificate. It encompasses more of the social aspect in comparison to the legal.

Social aspect and background: Check the existence of the social status that the guy and the family claim to have. I would strictly recommend a thorough background check on the family status. One should investigate the family they are getting married into. For example, criminal records, previous marriages, divorce, children and their custody (in case of divorce), citizenship issues and more.

Physical aspect: Check if the guy is in perfect health condition. If it is love marriage and the girl is aware of the poor physical health of the guy and agrees to marry him; that is awesome. However, if it’s an arranged marriage, it needs to be given the utmost importance because this is a major leading cause for divorce. Lying about physical and mental health conditions to get married has been around for long.

Financial aspect: Learning about the financial condition of the family that you are getting married into doesn’t make you a gold digger. Everyone wants to have a secure future, and tying the knot is about gaining security.

Having knowledge about their property and family financial status is your right. Question them. Learn about them. And then make your decision. You wouldn’t want to be caught up in some messy situation, would you? Learn where the guy comes from, what his motives are and if there’s any selfish motive behind the marriage proposal. We find families drowning in debt and marrying girls from well-off families to pay off their loans.

Dowry: What happens when the groom’s family asks the bride’s family for money (or property) to withhold the marriage? Legally, it is banned, but since the implementation of law here is weak, it is widely practiced in the Madhesh region. Report this to higher authorities like the police. Say no to dowry.

Domestic violence: This can happen to both men and women. In Nepal, women are by large affected by gender-based violence in comparison to men. What would you do when your husband or his family physically abuses you?

The National Women Commission offers 24 hours helpline available for such cases. Additionally, you can seek help from the police, local bodies or the court itself. They register your complaint and provide you with security. So, it is better to be aware than hurt and lost.

Last but not the least, what happens when you see these signs after you’re married? You can file for divorce with or without the consent of your partner. No matter what, do not let yourself or anyone you know be victimised by the traditions and social stigma of tying the knot.