WATTA SATTA-BRIDE EXCHANGE TRADITION IN PAKISTAN

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Marriage is considered as the most scared relationship in society but in Pakistani society marriage itself is a problem, also there are some such customs which seems to see that if the human heart is made ​​of stone there would have been cracks in it. Such Stereotype, irrelevant and outdated traditions have taken the lives of countless innocent people but no one is able to eradicate them. The one example of such stupid tradition is the custom of marriage “WATTA SATTA” in which whether you like or not, you are agree for the marriage or not, if there is huge age difference it does not matter; everything has to be sacrificed for the interests of both families.

In most Muslim nations and in many parts of our country the “WATTA SATTA” marriages are the worst tradition in our society. Simply speaking the “WATTA SATTA” means if you want to marry a girl then you must exchange a girl for the marriage. It is the tradition of “give and take”  i-e “WATTA SATTA” is exchange of brides between two houses, the marriage of brother and sister with the sister and brother of another family. This ritual is not just limited to rural areas, but some traditional families who live in cities consider such marriages as successful marital life assurance. The ratio of such marriages is very high in Pakistan about 90% marriages occur within in the same village or area while 75% marriages occur within the family members.

Sociologists in rural areas of Pakistan estimated that about seventy percent of the marriages are based on “WATTA SATTA”. One of the main reasons behind this tradition is that still there are some people in society that consider women as property and they use it for their own benefits. Very often it happens that parents are forced to “WATTA SATTA” because of poverty, insecurity, traditions and lack of education. According to Woman Foundation's Mahnaz Rahman, the youngest child marriages are mostly due to lust for money. Our Government has signed the Convention for the elimination of discrimination against women but no special steps are taken at the government level in order to prevent such marriages.

Most of the “WATTA SATTA” marriages are forced marriages that the boy and girl get married without their desire. According to "HRCP's report, in January 2012, 340 cases of forced marriages were recorded in the country. Sometimes due to this custom young teen girls married to old men which does not involve her will, if a woman or girl raise her voice against such marriages she is sentenced to death. In future these mismatch marriages fail and they lead to the flop marital life.Many shelter homes and NGOs are working to eliminate this ridiculous tradition however they are able to reach the 10 percent of population. The Government needs to play its role for this purpose. 



About the author

Kiran-Rehman

M Kiran the defintion of simplicity and innocence ;p

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