The toxic culture of rishta brigade needs to end. This practice has traumatized many women in the process and is dreaded by the rest. Previously, it was considered a process for a two families to meet and for their children to decide if they wish to marry each other. However, it has now transformed itself into a demeaning process in which a girl is decorated and paraded around the interested families to inspect if she is ‘suitable’ for their sons. Moreover, the families examine the girl from every angle and try to find as many so called flaws in her to degrade and embarrass her. Further, the girl is subjected to skeptical inquiries and unwelcomed questions and at times she is asked to lie about her so that she is seen as a ‘perfect girl’ for the men. Sadly, this outrageous behavior is encouraged by the girls’ families as well.

Furthermore, this tradition is the one of the worst traditions persisting in our society and it needs to end. Many girls are rejected on the basis of their looks or career choices. Since, the mindset of Pakistani families is still colonized; they prefer western standards of beauty as ideal and look down upon the natural skin tone of the region. Likewise, most families make unreasonable demands like leaving the job or education and dump the entire responsibility for managing the housework on them. And if the girls fail to accept their demands or standards, they are rejected. This, rejection shatters the confidence of women and they become to doubt themselves. In some extreme cases, these girls resort to committing suicide as they can no longer tolerate being humiliated by strangers.

It should be noted that not every girl is the same and they have different ambitions and goals which they wish to accomplish in their lives. Similarly, they should not be asked to make unnecessary sacrifices or asked to kill their dreams just to be married. Moreover, the parents of the girls should focus on her education and support her rather than considering her as a burden which needs to be married of at a societal proclaimed right age. And above all, they should respect the opinions of their daughters regarding these proposals as it is she who has to spend the rest of her life with the boy.

Finally, this is high time that this practice should be permanently eradicated from the society. Women should be appreciated on the basis of their qualifications, manners, personalities rather than being judged and rejected on their appearances or complexions.

Written by: Aashna Mehmood

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