Malala Yousafzai recently talked about her fear of marriage and how her best friend, Asser Malik, made it seem more meaningful than she expected.
It was the subject of a British Vogue essay by the 24-year-old. Not because she despised the institution. Doubts about her ‘patriarchal background’ “After the wedding, many women are expected to make compromises influenced by societal norms and chauvinism. I feared losing my humanity, freedom, and femininity, so I avoided marriage.”
Women’s stories increased Malala’s marriage fears. So many of the women she grew up with married before they could chose a career. “One buddy had a 14-year-old child. Some girls dropped out of school due to financial constraints; others enrolled but fell short of expectations. Their parents disapproved of their education. Not every girl wants to marry. They’re still in school, but they know their wishes will be denied.”
She told British Vogue in June that she may not be suited to marriage. In her post, she said that she had responded “as usual.” “Knowing my sisters’ hardships made me wary of marriage. But I stressed again that marriage might not be for me.”
And now she has her partner Malik to back up her belief in marriage. It is possible to change society’s standards by raising awareness and educating people. “People shape culture. I rethought my marriage options after talking to friends, mentors, and my now-husband Asser.
Malala shared how she met her spouse in 2018. “Asser was in Oxford,” she wrote. “I had a lot to say about cricket. And my wit. We got near. We found common ground and had a good time. We had our ups and downs. We listened and shared our ups and downs. Desperate to connect, I gave him our horoscope compatibility link.”
Malik, she says, is her pal. “I’m not perfect, but I believe in friendship, love, and marriage equality. So, on Tuesday, November 9, we had nikkah with family and friends in Birmingham.
“It was teamwork. They were from Lahore, Pakistan. Asser’s mother and sister gave me jewellery. My father too. So I hired a photographer and a make-up artist My three best friends from school and Oxford came to join me. No one else in my family or friends could do it! a pink tie, a pocket square, and sandals the day before the ceremony. My brothers suited.”
Read more: Malala Yousafzai Weds in Birmingham