The Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousafzai recently sparked an worldwide stir when she announced her wedding on social media and released the pictures of her private nikah ceremony in UK. She tied the knot with Asser Malik, who is the general manager of Pakistan Cricket Board.
Today marks a precious day in my life.— Malala (@Malala) November 9, 2021
Asser and I tied the knot to be partners for life. We celebrated a small nikkah ceremony at home in Birmingham with our families. Please send us your prayers. We are excited to walk together for the journey ahead.
📸: @malinfezehai pic.twitter.com/SNRgm3ufWP
What followed was a barrage of criticism for this 24-year-old activist who claimed to have not believed in the institution of marriage in an interview and then getting hitched within four months of stating the same. Some labelled her a hypocrite for changing ‘her’ opinion as well.
However in her latest essay for British Vogue Malala talked about her redefined notion of marriage and how tying the knot with her ‘best friend’ marked a precious day in her life.
She begins with emphasising that she was not against marriage, but was cautious of its practise owing to the patriarchal roots.
Growing up in the north of Pakistan, girls were taught that marriage was a substitute for an independent life. If you don’t study, get a job and build a place for yourself, you must get married soon. You failed your exams? You can’t find work? Get married!
But she wondered if there was another way to go about it, one in which with education, awareness and empowerment, marriage did not imply a failed life.
She had conversations with her friends, mentors and her now partner Asser who helped her consider how she could have a relationship – a marriage of equals.
In Asser, I found a best friend and companion. I still don’t have all the answers for the challenges facing women – but I believe that I can enjoy friendship, love and equality in marriage.
She crossed paths Asser in the summer of 2018 and instantly bonded over cricket. Having common values, they enjoyed each other’s company, in thick and thin.
“Culture is made by people – and people can change it too.” Her idea of marriage is redefined and she is looking forward to spending her life with her best friend while upholding the ideals of equality, fairness, and integrity.
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