Following Susan Moller Okin thoughts in her book Justice, Gender and Family, one would agree that women have been victims of gender discrimination for many decades which has caused them a lot of suffering both at the family level and in the society (Okin, 2007). The system has denied many women equal opportunity regarding employment, promotions and even possession of properties. In fact, in some communities, male children are the only ones entitled to inheritance. The worst part of it is that lawmakers have been reluctant in enacting laws that protect women from these economic and social injustices. The feminist movement that started in the 1960s has helped a great deal in pushing for measures that reduce these injustices. The campaign has been advocating for gender equality and inclusion of women in administrative duties. Also, it became very vocal in protecting women against domestic violence. As a result, women can get compensation in case their husbands divorce them if they were legally married. Further, female children are equally entitled to inheritance by law. Echoing Okin's thoughts, gender injustices start at a family level, and we should fix it at this level before focusing on the entire society. Keeping a family together and free from gender injustice is one way of solving the suffering that women experience. Unlike those who support the idea of making laws that encourage couples to separate at the slightest challenge that they face, I strongly feel that having marriage agreements that discourage divorce, like covenant marriages is the best thing for the family. These marriages do not harm women, but, secures them along with children hence should, therefore, be legalized.
Although several agencies and organizations are effortlessly pushing for better treatment of women in the US and around the globe, the fact remains that the system will change over time. This means that men are still holding better economic positions than women and in case of a divorce between couples that have small children, it is women of bare the total brand of the separation because the law requires children to be under the care of mothers until they become 18 years. This situation makes women and children casualties of the divorce. In the meantime, to fix the challenges that women go through in their families, there is need to view marriage as the most critical institution at least as most religious books consider it. Marriage should not be something that people enter and leave whenever they feel like but a commitment which they will stick to until death part them. The covenant marriages give the couple that faces challenges an opportunity to visit a counselor who will try to help them work things out and eventually sticks together in the union. It also ensures that each party is ready to commit himself to the other through premarital counseling. This process helps to prevent people from making premature decisions. This marriage arrangement allows divorce to take place when advice has failed and under strictly under the following conditions: When one partner stays away for more than two years, in the event a partner complains of abuse when a partner is sent to prison, indulgence in drugs and adultery (Okin, 2007). The main idea here is to reduce the number of divorces in the society owing to challenges that come with it.
Divorce is one of the causes of sufferings among women especially when they have children. Balancing work and taking care of children is an enormous task to handle especially when having a job that pays less than men. This situation makes it hard for one to save money for capital to start a business. After separation, the responsivities increase forcing the single mother to adjust her life by foregoing some things that they used to afford before separating. Such situations may include moving to a cheaper house, taking children to less expensive schools, and making changes on meals. It is hard to explain to all these dynamics a child as a parent. The process puts children in a devastating condition cause them a lot of harm. When parents fight, children are the ones that pay the price. At the end they become psychologically affected by change of events resulting to indulgence in hard drugs that leads to deteriorating academic results in school. Drugs invite many problems such early pregnancy among girls and acquire transmitted sexual diseases since the drugs impair judgment. It is clear that one issue will invite another until the situation becomes terribly miserable. These are some of the problems that women who are financially unstable go through after separation. The main reason why women and children become victims of divorce is lacked enough money to acquire the best legal representation in courts. They end up getting little money as compensation. In some cases, many hide some of their properties to retain most of the wealth in their possession. These problems the women go through are the reason States like Kansas, Louisiana, and Arkansas established this type of marriage agreement.
Even as various organizations like those of human rights continue to propagate for freedom for women, and gender equality, matters of marriage require a bit more than that. This institution should be respected since it is the foundation of the family. It is selfish for a couple to only think about themselves. A couple should place the interests of children before theirs. Passing laws that make it easy follow people to separate whenever they wish will hurt the future generation. I think maybe it is the time people should start thinking about what happens to the children of divorce rather than spending more time on couples. Those who promote separation should explain to the society how they will also provide the children with their right to live with both their parents. Marriages should be protected at all cost especially when children are involved. Thus, it is vital for human rights activists and feminists to look at the fundamental issues and determine between the couple and children who are more vulnerable. If the intention is to protect women, then they will need to put pressure on lawmakers and the government to consider embracing gender equality in governance. For instance, there is no point in paying men more than women when they all hold the same position. People should be paid based on their performance at work. These are the issues that make women vulnerable in society, not marriage agreements. It is the responsibility of those in power to make the world a better place for everyone.
Some bureaucrats argue that establishing covenant marriage agreements is expensive, but this may not be true. The fact is that it reduces resources that the government spent in the judicial system. Currently, nearly a half of those who get married in the US end up divorcing (Okin, 2007). These cases usually involve lengthy processes that are costly to both the government and the couple. Divorces which involve enormous wealth may take even much longer. Therefore, it is clear that the typical marriage agreements are more costly since they attract many cases of divorce since they do not give legal counseling a chance before proceeding for divorce like covenant marriages. Covenant marriages may appear to be expensive in the short run, but in the long term, they cost fewer resources. The government should legalize this type of marriage as it reduces the risks of couples divorcing in future. Further, covenant marriages will save our children from psychological suffering due to few incidences of couples separating.
One of the most critical aspects of covenant marriage that it aims at introducing traditions values of the society into to the couples. It also adds religious connotations to the institution of marriage that has been eroded by the modern society. Just like the covenant among the Christians between God and the Israelites, couples in this form of unions need to stick to the vows as hard as they can. Religious leaders offer guidance to the couple on how to handle problems in marriages. Some of these teachings like submission may appear primitive in the modern society, but the fact is, they have helped many unions to hold. Each couple understands his role in the family, and they live with minimal fights. I bet that the main problem with marriages today lack of religious guidance. Couples want to deal with every little problem in court. Justices always replaces forgiveness, the latter is vital in covenant form of marriages. Covenant marriages are one of the solutions that will help bring sanity in unions in future if legalized.
Summing up, it is evident that the society has always marginalized women socially, politically and economically for so long. This discrimination has led to a large percentage of women to lack behind economic as compared to men. In 1960, the emergences feminist movement in the US helped to push for the agenda of gender equality and as a result, marginalization of women has reduces though human rights activists still need to put more pressure to bureaucrats to offer more women an opportunity. Most of the problems that women go through are not related to marriage agreements but economic discrimination. Therefore, legalizing marriages the discourage divorces like the covenant form of marriage is not a problem to women. In fact, it helps in reducing issues that women go through after getting divorced. Mostly, children remain with their mother after separation, making women of enduring the entire pain of raising them alone. Covenant marriages have involved premarital counseling that helps the couple to be ready for the transition and withstand the challenges in marriage. Also, this form, marrying requires that couple goes through legal counseling fast before considering separation. There are also specifics reasons that warrant a divorce. This intervention is meant to prevent a couple from divorcing at the slightest challenge that they come across in their marriage. Lastly, the covenant will reduce the number of divorces cases in courts hence economical.
Okin, S. M. (2007). Justice, gender, and the family. New York: Basic Books a Member of the Perseus Books Group.
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