She is young, successful and focused. Highly opinionated, empowered and a super achiever. The independent woman of today has little in common with the traditionally submissive and often suppressed wife.
The rise of the independent woman has shifted the dynamics of marriage, particularly because these women are not in a hurry to get married. Some abandon the idea of marriage altogether. They have more important things to spend their energies on — careers, businesses and personal development.
In some cases, these assumingly self-sufficient women are labelled ‘high maintenance’ because they can make choices about where to wine, dine, live, vacation and even what to drive.
Being in total control of her life, the independent woman knows exactly what to expect in a marriage, has a voice and expects mutual respect from her husband. Men on the other hand, are having a difficult time adapting to these alpha females.
The Nation interviewed three independent women who explained why they are not in a hurry to get married.
Faith Waigwa, managing partner, Nungo, Oduor and Waigwa Advocates
Marriage is a union of convenience for many reasons. Convenience for companionship to avoid loneliness, convenience for having children within the religiously acceptable norms, convenience for social acceptability, for political, economic or social convenience. If marriage finds me, well and good, if it does not find me, too bad.
I believe that not everyone is marriageable and with time one should accept the reality of whom they are. One should not be forced to get into marriage just to prove a point or succumb to society’s pressure. One should live their life to the fullest and take a day at a time instead of worrying that all her friends are married and she is not. Some of us are late bloomers.
Caroline Muthoni Njuki, Regional Migration coordinator, Intergovernmental Authority on Development
I turned 32 recently but marriage is not something I think about often. I’d like to have a child but it’s not urgent. Having spent so much time in school, I’m only meaningfully taking off careerwise and I would like to consolidate that more than my thinking of marriage; at least for now. Being in a job that requires me to constantly be on the move, it’s difficult to date meaningfully.
I dated long distance and it just doesn’t seem to work. I want to date and marry someone I deeply like and respect, who shares certain values in life and who reciprocates it. When I find that, I will say ‘I do’. Rise of the independent woman has influenced our view of marriage.
Anita Njeri, Social Media manager at PAWA 254.
AGE: 31 , mother of one.
The reasons why people got married, such as for love, protection and security, are not viable any more. This is why I will never get married. I have seen so many broken marriages and people broken by unhappy marriages which make me wonder if the effort is worth it.
I cannot even define marriage anymore because my married friends have scary words for it like ‘marriage is tolerance’, ‘marriage is a financial agreement’ or ‘we stay married for the sake of the children’.
In the beginning, the father brought home food, mother cooks the food and watches the children. Today is a different story altogether. Both mother and father bring home the food and they have outsourced a househelp to cook the food and take care of the children.