Single by Choice
Marriage is near universal in India. For women, like it or not, marriage and motherhood become their career ‘choices’. Families, society, peer groups, young girls, themselves, are so conditioned as to make the inevitability of marriage, the desirable norm.
But is this beginning to change?
The Census of 2011 reported that there were 25 million never-married women in India, an increase of approximately 35 per cent from the turn of this century. Add to this the number of women seeking divorce, also rising dramatically, and the institution of marriage begins to look a little less unshakeable.
The thirteen happily unmarried women in this anthology have arrived at their singledom from a variety of perspectives and experiences, but have one critical factor in common—none of them needs the social sanction of marriage, and all of them cherish their independence. They make a strong case for women’s economic autonomy, but also for alternative relationships and communities of support—marital families are not the only option in their life-plans.