Activist Malala Yousafzai reveals how she found love and friendship in her marriage in an essay in Vogue

“In Assar I found a companion and a best friend. We witnessed each other through our ups and downs.”

Mahnoor Jalal

Mahnoor Jalal

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A few days ago when activist Malala Yousafzai had announced to the world that she had married Asser Malik in a ceremony at her house in London, she was met with harsh comments by critics questioning whether she was a feminist or not, as previously in an interview with Vogue Magazine Malala had said that she didn’t want to get married any time soon.

yesterday, Malala shared an essay she had written in a vogue where she acknowledged that she had not wanted to marry at the time she was giving the interview, because to her the practice was deeply entrenched in patriarchal roots because it demanded women to completely give up their identities after their wedding:

“I questioned the patriarchal roots of the institution, the compromises women are expected to make after the wedding, and how laws regarding relationships are influenced by cultural norms and misogyny in many corners of the world. I feared losing my humanity, my independence, my womanhood – my solution was to avoid getting married at all.”

Malala shared that her initial reflections began changing when after having conversations with her friends, family members and her now partner Assar, she realized that the concept around marriage can be redefined by making when it focuses on harmony, friendship and love:

“But what if there was another way? With education, awareness and empowerment, we can start to redefine the concept of marriage and the structure of relationships, along with many other social norms and practices. Culture is made by people – and people can change it too. My conversations with my friends, mentors and my now partner Asser helped me consider how I could have a relationship – a marriage – and remain true to my values of equality, fairness and integrity”

Malala shared how she met her husband Assar and revealed how their friendship blossomed into love when she sent him a horoscopes compatibility chart of both of their signs

“We became best friends. We found we had common values and enjoyed each other’s company. We stood by each other in moments of happiness and disappointment. Through our individual ups and downs, we talked and listened to each other. And when words failed, I sent him a link to our horoscope compatibility, hoping the stars could help reinforce our connection.”

We’re so proud of you Malala that you found your best friend and companion in Assar. We pray that the two of you build a happy life together.

You can read the full essay over here