MARRIAGE, AN OVER HYPED INSTITUTION IN GHANA

Being a  free spirit and adventurous in Ghana is kind of hard when you are lady. Its like society expects somethings from you when you hit your twenties- marriage! It’s hard to find a lady in her twenties who doesn’t have thoughts of marriage or desperate about  marriage. Growing up in a society where girls are taught that without a man you are not complete and an independent successful woman is not an achievement without a man in her life. It isn’t surprising that young girls are obsessed about marriage and being in a relationship before they hit their thirties. Here there is nothing like free-spirited lady who want to be adventurous and explore the world; to the Ghanaian society you are a failure without a man.

Girls are so obsessed with marriage that when they are in a relationship with a guy for sometime they start asking the guy when he will marry them as she feels she is growing old even when the girl is as young as 25. There are those who think marriage is so scarce that when they are in a relationship with an abusive man, they will never leave as the guy has promised to marry them. What  most Ghanaian girls will endure for that ring on the finger will shock you. There  are those girls who will stick with one guy even though they are aware he has other girls in his life, its like a competition for that ring.

There is one time where I lived in the same house with a guy whom two of his girlfriends clashed at his apartment one evening.  It was a chaos scene with a fight breaking out between the girls whilst the guy was indoors playing video games unbothered. I was expecting both girls  to leave that instance and go to their various homes and break up with the loser , shockingly both of them stayed and spent the night together in the same room. For like three days they competed from each cooking their own meal in the kitchen to serve the guy. It was like a drag race. I just watched overwhelmed at how they still stayed when it was obvious that he lied and was cheating on each of them with the other. Not able to contain my curiosity I asked one of the girls why she hasn’t left when I met her at the kitchen one afternoon, what she said in reply to my question left me in awe. she said and I quote ‘ finding a man in Ghana is hard and since the guy hasnt broken up with her, she wouldn’t leave but still stay to appeal to the guy, at the end of the day he will choose who he likes best and it could be her he would marry’. She was just 26 years who could have explored life at that age and see her chances  whist weighing her options but society had taught her that at that age she was far over due for marriage.

Most guys realising this, have used it as venture to win girls often with the line ‘I will marry you’ and bam they have sex and dump them, its like the line to use when you want a lady in your bed. Some guys even feel they are doing the ladies a favour by marrying them due to how desperate most girls are to be socially acceptable and enviable among her friends. When a young lady is making it in life, the first question people ask  in Ghana is if she was married. There is this local Ghanaian quote which says ‘ a ladies pride lies in marriage’. It is of no wonder that ladies aren’t encouraged to reach higher levels of education in Ghana like men. It’s mostly the determined ones and those who have slightly been exposed to the western culture. Many local people in Ghana believe the girls place is normally the kitchen and having kids that  a few years ago girls were not being enrolled in schools, till an advocate agency fought for the rights of the girl child to equally experience education as men.

With marriage being obsessed by young girls in Ghana people are shocked when they have conversations with me concerning that and I don’t have it in my plans currently. They are like ‘ what are waiting for’ and am like ‘I want to explore life and weigh out my options and see what I wanna be’ i further explain i not  wanting to be the traditional house wife like most Ghanaian ladies where their life revolve around marriage and childbirth and that i wanna be free like a bird till i feel am ready and even not to a person who wants to be the traditional wife. Well there will end the conversation with the person shaking his head with the bold ones telling me am crazy.

Maybe I am crazy, as I don’t see why marriage should be fixed at an age and the presence of a man completing a ladies life and that a lady cannot be equally succesful as a man in Ghana. I think marriage shouldnt happen because society wants you to and not cause you want to, but it seems that’s what happens in Ghana, marrying to fit in society .

Here girls arent supposed to dream but when they dream their  dreams are not being successful and setting goals for themselves but dreams about meeting a man to put the ring on their finger…whew am speechless!!!

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31 Comments

  1. You are not crazy. Women should be free to follow their own path in life without cultural restrictions, absolutely.
    One of my friends from the gym, here in the UK, is a Ghanian lady in her 60s who runs her own business and is very happy. She returns to Ghana once each year to visit family but she likes the freedom she is allowed here. I admire her very much.
    Young people like you are the ones that have the power to make a culture the way you want it so it is a pity that those two ladies you mention feel that they still have to conform. It is this kind of behaviour that allows silly old fashioned cultural ideas to continue through generations and progress can not happen until this stops, unfortunately. I admire your outlook. Please stay strong snd be yourself OK?

    1. I will be strong and be myself. your comments are always real and straight to the point. thanks for reading and taking the time out to comment, i appreciate it.

  2. This was very informative loved it . I like your outlook your cultural situation . I’ts not something I personally have to experience but i’ve always been a dreamer of the idea that i could have the best of both worlds. I count ever see myself being a stay at home housewife as i’m way to entrepreneurial driven , however I do think about marriage and i’m 27. My career goals and family goals will hopefully have a balance. lol fingers crossed haha 🙂

    1. I totally agree with what you saying with you having thoughts of marriage which we all have thoughts of. but here its like society forces you to do that and not because you are ready.

  3. I feel like some of this applies to many women all over the world. Maybe not the set age but the whole I’ll marry you just to get sex then they leave. I married young, I was 19 but I was raised by my great grandparents, they also married young so it was “normal” to me to look for love and want to be married. I met my husband when I was 18. I just knew I’d marry him. I’m thankful everything has worked out and he’s not the type of man who used the marriage lime for sex. I see that happen a lot now a days.

  4. I am e from Russia and that looks familiar. Since I moved to Finland, I found it is completely different. In Russia, they get married at around 25, but in Finland often over 30.

  5. I’m quite surprised to see that these stereotypes still exist in various cultures and societies. Women should be given right to choose no matter what society says. Thus stereotype is non-existent in my country. Thank you for the awareness. I’d like to ask if there are advocacies that promote women rights in your country? I hope that soon enough all women from your country will be given the privilege and right to choose.

    1. there are advocates alright but it seems this marriage thing is instilled in them at a very young age and they grow with it. i guess its a state of the mind and i am the black sheep of my culture….lol. thanks for reading

  6. This is a very interesting read and it’s sad to know that girls/women are forced or pressured by society to get married at a certain age and not be able to fulfill their full potential. Let’s remember to always find a way to support other women in circumstances like this and make sure that they understand and know that they’re capable of more than just waiting for a guy’s promise of marriage.

  7. I am slightly shocked to read about that incident of two girls living in the same house, waiting and competing to be chosen by the one who is actually cheating them. I think the need of having a husband is over hyped in Ghana and the whole perspective of getting married and living in the society has been lost! In a way marriage is an institution followed by two people to satisfy emotional needs, physical needs and various other aspects of life. To make it more beautiful by coming together, if two people decide to stay together it should be conscious choice rather than a compulsive need. I think sooner or later the younger generation will be smart enough to realize it and bring some change in the society of Ghana. Hope it happens soon. Overall loved your article, very well written. 🙂

    1. well the zeal to fit into the norms of society made them lose their sense of pride and worth by succumbing to a cheating man in hopes of putting a ring on their finger and rendering them whole to society. i agree marriage should be based on love and mutual agreement but here is based on being accepted. i am really humbled you took out time to read and writ this beautiful comment in reply to my article. you are simply amazing. thanks.

    1. Thank you for reading too and commenting, it shows my articles are not being ignored but rather giving other people a glimpse int a society they know nothing of. i appreciate the time spent to read this.

  8. It is sad that women in Ghana and other countries are still oppressed and manipulated into marital arrangements. Marriage should never be forced on anyone, especially because it allegedly “completes” a person.

    1. it is truly sad and i hope the young ladies rise to know marriage is based on love not because society wants you to. thanks for reading

  9. It makes me so sad that some people are forced into relationships. Women are strong on their own, and if they chose to get into a marriage, it should be out of love and their own accord.

  10. I’m absolutely on your side. This is very sad to know that in some situations they are forced to get married even with their own underisable decision. I hope this one will stop cause its not really good for the society and young ones either.

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