Things you should NOT say to a divorced woman in Pakistan
Divorce is a taboo in Pakistan and women face many challenges as a divorcee. These women are shunned in society and their voices are negated.
Why I choose this topic:
We lack empathic communication skills for divorced women in our society.
Understanding the problem:
To understand the issue, I interviewed two women.
Zubaida is a 45-year-old woman who has 4 children. She got divorced recently. I asked what she wishes people would not say to her. She said;
“I did not want this divorce and people said that I forced my husband to give me a divorce. I feel very sad about these rumors.”
Saman was divorced in 2015. Unlike Zubaida, Saman asked for a divorce because of her in-laws and husband. Saman said;
“I was trying to forget the trauma. I didn’t like it when people asked how or why it happened and about my plans. I wasn’t comfortable in sharing these details. ”
“What should you SAY to a divorced woman in Pakistan?”
I asked both of these what people should say to a divorced woman
- People should not ask probing questions
- Sentences like “It’s going to be okay. I am here for you” are better than “Oh my God. This is so bad. How will you live now?”
Working on this problem taught me a lot about our society and the struggles of women.
Solution of the problem:
My Amal Circle will develop guidelines on empathic communication with divorced women. We will then share these guidelines with people via zoom meetings and digital posters.
I know old habits die hard but I am determined to solve it. I hope our society learns to empathize with divorced women healthily and compassionately.