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Malala faces backlash for questioning need to marry

Published : Sunday, 6 June, 2021 at 1:07 PM  Count : 372

Malala Yousafzai is the subject of the cover story in the new issue of British Vogue. A comment she made about marriage has prompted social media outrage in Pakistan. Nick Knight

Malala Yousafzai is the subject of the cover story in the new issue of British Vogue. A comment she made about marriage has prompted social media outrage in Pakistan. Nick Knight

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai's views on whether marriage is necessary for two people in a relationship has invited an avalanche of criticism in Pakistan, where she has long gained a reputation as controversy's favourite child with her outspokenness.

In an interview published in the British Vogue magazine, Malala responded to a question on the institution of marriage by wondering why a relationship could not be just a "partnership".

"Thinking about relationships, you know, on social media, everyone’s sharing their relationship stories, and you get worried…if you can trust someone or not, and how can you be sure," she said. "I still don’t understand why people have to get married. If you want to have a person in your life, why do you have to sign marriage papers; why can’t it just be a partnership?" she said.

The remarks immediately landed her in hot waters in Pakistan, with lawmakers, clerics, academicians as well a section of the citizenry accusing her of peddling a western narrative. Most viewed her statements as suggestive of negating the concept of having a family with a "legitimate partner".

On Friday, the controversy surrounding Malala’s views echoed in the provincial assembly of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, with members of the opposition Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), Jamaat-i-Islami and Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam urging her family to clarify their daughter’s position on the subject of marriage

"Malala’s interview with the British Vogue magazine has been circulating on the mainstream and social media for some days. The government needs to probe whether the education activist really made those marriage remarks or not," said PPP lawmaker Sahibzada Sanaullah, who raised the issue on a point of order in the House. "Life partnership was not allowed in any religion, and if Malala favoured it, then the stand was condemnable."

However, lawmakers from the opposition Awami National Party and PM Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf defended Malala and her family’s position on the issue, besides requesting their colleagues not to turn the matter into a controversy.

Soon after Malala’s statement went viral on social media, a prominent cleric from Peshawar, Mufti Shahabuddin Popalzai, had taken to Twitter to ask her father, Ziauddin Yousafzai, to provide a clarification for his daughter’s remarks on marriage.

"A news report has been making the rounds on social media since yesterday that your daughter Malala Yousafzai has categorically rejected the institution of marriage and said that 'partnership' is better than getting married. We are all deeply disturbed by this statement. Please explain," Popalzai tweeted.

Malala’s father responded soon after, "Respected Mufti Popalzai Sahib, there is no truth in it. The media and social media have taken an excerpt of her interview out of context and shared it with their own interpretations. And that's it."

Source: Times of India

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Malala   Pakistan  

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