Pressure to marry is great

7th May 2004 at 01:00
One young teacher spoke of the difficulties she had encountered when at the age of 15 her father began putting pressure on her to marry.

"My father was educated to a high level in Bangladesh. For years I had to resist his plans for me, and this was very stressful. My mother just kept quiet, not wanting to take sides. My sister supported me.

"I insisted on going to sixth-form college. Eventually I went to university and read biochemistry. I then did my postgraduate teaching certificate.

"I married outside my community. My family was furious. I became an outcast and I lost contact with everyone but my sister.

"I became pregnant, and ill, and needed the support of my family. I am now living quite near my parents and my mother gives some support. I have two children now and am just as determined to have my own life, despite my husband being more religious than I am and quite conservative about women.

We do argue quite a bit but I hold my own.

"My family would love my marriage to fail, but, so far, I think we are making it work."

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