Can You Ignore The Haw Haye Brigade and Move Out Of Your Parents’ House?

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All of us fiercely independent ladies, more than once, have craved independence and wanted to move out of our households. Be it the desire to stay out till late with friends or the want to be your own boss at home, you would be lying to yourself if you say the idea hasn’t ever crossed your mind! But not all of us women can move out, find a place to live and make a home of our own, particularly not in Pakistan – or are we just conditioned to think that way?

Before we move on to discussing the practicality of this insatiable desire, first let’s go over the cultural context and limitations that often stop women from taking the leap.

Cultural anomaly

Owing to some religious and socio-cultural reasons, women in Pakistan have long found comfort in living the domesticated life. This routine is internalized to the point that most women perceive the stay-at-home life; nurturing the children, managing the household and being supported by men of the family, as their lawful duty. This practice created interdependence in familial relations – men go out and earn while women stay in and manage the income’s utilization – constituting the normative balance in Pakistani households.

All was good and running smoothly until one fine day globalization (a.k.a westernization) came knocking in and spread across Pakistan. Along came awareness. The waves of enlightenment hit and shook the position of women in a household. Demand for women’s education witnessed new peaks, and financial independence emerged as an option in the field.

This phenomenon led to a unique strand of women in Pakistan, though  still a minority and hence still considered a cultural anomaly – the strong, independent women (usually paired with feminists and fast girls).

Buoying up

While there may be a hundred different reasons for a woman wanting to live alone, you’d find a thousand more stopping them from being able to do so. If you belong to this strand of the female population in Pakistan, here are some possible ways to buoying up and making it happen for yourself.

  1. Salary package: One reason to justify moving out of your home is getting a job that pays well and is in a different city. A handsome salary package for sure will be able to help you convince your parents/caretaker to let you move out.
  2. Relocation: So not everyone is comfortable in switching jobs. And we realize you may want to move out immediately but your current job, where you finally feel comfortable and are probably about to be promoted, is stopping you from breaking bad and moving out – a relocation is an option you might want to explore. Get your current employer to relocate you to a different city. The perk of this is that organizations willing to offer relocation usually also cover the costs involved in moving and may also help you find a nice abode in the new city. Relocating also keeps the work culture constant so saves up adjustment issues in a new city.
  3. Further studies: If there’s a need and you have the will, then this option can satisfy both – your yearning for independent living and a gap in your portfolio. Women usually move out from smaller cities to cities like Lahore and Karachi to complete their further studies in various universities. I have even met women living in big cities like Islamabad enrolled at Al-Huda institutes for courses, so there are all kinds of study options available in Pakistan. Just find and apply to a university, manage to fund and voila – you’re in a different city, independent and free.
  4. Hostels: Whatever reason you’re moving to a new city – hostels are probably the safest place you can live in as a woman in Pakistan. With this option security comes free, rent is cheaper, and amenities like laundry, electricity, and food are all mostly available at subsidized rates. So whether you’re working part-time or here to study, living in a hostel can save you a lot of expenditures.
  5. Conveyance: Another reason that might work in your favor is if you live in a far off location from your current college/workplace. A two-way commute exceeding a decent amount of time takes a toll on one’s mental health daily. I also know some people who travel regularly from the outskirts to Lahore for work. Given how hard it is to manage time and stress in such a situation, renting a place closer to your workplace/college is much more convenient. It .spares you the hassle of traveling for hours every day and saves you transport costs as well and forms a convincing argument.

The list doesn’t end here. There are other ways to move out and manage to live alone. One recommendation is to make security a priority. Always choose a place that is highly secure, that remains unaffected by the political conditions of the country, doesn’t have a record of criminal activities and is known to be a friendly neighborhood. If the place is close to your workplace or school/college, then that’s a cherry on top. It is also a good idea to share the place with a few girls as this will reduce the costs for you and assure a support system away from home.

We would also like to know how you moved out. Tell us your story of finding a home and living independently and how you justified it to your family in the comments below.

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