ALIMONY AND WOMAN EMPOWERMENT
No woman wants a divorce. At least that’s the last thing on her mind when she gets married. But, what if the situation does come to such a stage when she has no way out but to ask for a divorce? Then, does alimony bail her out in her difficult stressful situation? Is it the perfect compensation to a failed marriage? There are some who need alimony desperately while others can just walk out of the failed relationship (read marriage) without any desire for claims. Eventually, does alimony help a woman keep her self esteem?
How useful is alimony to a divorced woman?
I know the first reaction to this question would be, “How stupid can you be? It is a woman’s first and foremost legal right when she gets divorced!”
“How else do you expect her to carry on? An alimony or maintenance gives the necessary resources to manage her life after a sad and terrible end of a relationship.”
“What do you mean ‘really?’ Have you gone bonkers? Shouldn’t her husband pay for all the effort she put into the marriage? Shouldn’t he pay for the hurt he put her through? What about the children? Most women get the custody of them and they need to bring them up. Where will the money come for that? Alimony helps there.”
What if the woman was working?
“So what if she is working? So what if she can manage on her own? The law says that the husband must support her and so he should.”
What a woman does not realize is that alimony, maintenance or a combination of both does not make her get rid of the relationship she just walked out of. She does not realize that she has been drawn into another whirlpool of dependence on the very person she does not want to have anything to do with. This time for life. Alimony or any other financial reimbursement is a boon for women who are not working, do not have sufficient educational qualifications to get jobs to support themselves, are physically handicapped or have some mental problems. It becomes a basic necessity then as such women need to support themselves and if they have children, then taking care of them is another major responsibility which needs financial help of any kind. But what about the women who can refuse this monetary help yet, wash dirty linen in the court just to get that 1/5 or 1/3 of their husband’s income? Why can’t they tell themselves that they are blessed that they are out of an incompatible relationship and are fortunate to start life afresh on their own, without anybody’s help? How many women do this? I know it is easy to say all this when you are not in such a situation. It is not easy to lose not only a relationship but also a lot of energy, time, money or assets. What I am talking about is: does alimony give a woman monetary aid with dignity?
It is a fact that there have been several instances when women have filed false cases against men only to get some money out of them before letting go. Divorce cases are no longer on the decrease in India and sometimes I wonder, “Is alimony, maintenance (a lifelong financial aid) one of the various provocations apart from the sudden spurt of other incompatible reasons?” Isn’t alimony only another way of making qualified women lazy and dependent on men for life? Socially ill equipped women definitely deserve financial help like alimony or maintenance. What about the high funda women’s empowerment that we talk of now-a-days? Will alimony be aiding that or just making women beggars for life?
Let me know what you feel.