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‘Good parents’ strive to raise ‘innocent daughters’

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This paper analyses the views of parents in a slum setting in Pakistan regarding the marriage preparedness of their daughters. Twenty-five parents participated in four gender-specific focus group discussions. Latent content analysis was used to explore parents' views and experiences with regard to their daughters' marriage and how they prepared them for it. The main theme identified was that ‘good parents’ strive to raise ‘innocent daughters’. Three sub-themes contributing to the main theme were: a daughter–a responsibility and a burden; social and sexual innocence; and parents' roles in the preparation for marriage. The theme and the sub-themes together illustrate how parents saw themselves as responsible for raising ‘innocent daughters’ and arranging good marriages. Parents realised, though, that bringing up daughters for marriage required not only training in submissivness, but also building confidence and knowledge during their childhood.
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Keywords: Pakistan; marriage; obedience; sexuality; young women

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Global Health, Department of Public Health Sciences, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden

Publication date: August 1, 2011

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