I went public with my views on divorce and Sikh men because I want to help other women
By Barfi Culture Team
5th May 2019

A few weeks ago, Minreet Kaur gave an interview to the BBC on the attitudes she faced for being Sikh and divorced.

She said: "In my generation, even people who have divorced sisters or daughters in their own family will still judge another divorced woman outside their family."

The article sparked a massive debate, and even a bit of a backlash.

So Barfi Culture asked Minreet to expand on what she said, and what she would tell other divorced women.

What kind of a response did you get from your personal story about being a divorced woman?

95% positive and 5% negative, mostly from men who felt this is not the case for all men. To be honest I never said all men, I said the majority of who I have met and in my circle of women I have spoken to have had similar experiences.

I know there are some AMAZING men out there in the Sikh community who respect women, but again I want to ensure people understand I'm talking about my personal experience. Let people share their stories.

Some say you shouldn't have focused on Sikh men. What do you say in response to that?

I don't understand why do people get so upset if Sikh is mentioned when it highlights an issue in the Sikh community because I am from that community.

It doesn't mean that other communities don't have the same problem but I can only talk on behalf of myself and my community. And the people who I have come across do look down on you and label you as 'used goods'.

Why do you feel so strongly about this issue?

I know how tough it was for me when I first came back home. I have had all sorts of comments made and I always notice it's the men who feel they can make a woman feel she is dirty, used goods, no good for anyone now she's divorced.

I feel passionate because I see other women going through such a difficult time and some become depressed, and don't feel they are good enough to meet someone else. I really want women to empower one another and come forward for who they are, not for their status.

I feel as a community we are so good at brushing things under the carpet and I don't agree with this. I will use my voice and my personal experiences to come forward as I feel there should be more strong women who can also do the same.

What would you say to other women in a similar situation?

I would say please don't feel you're wrong for walking away from a marriage. If you walked away then it means you should hold your head high for being a strong woman who made that decision and didn't stick it out just because of what others would say.

Anyone who maybe suffering in a marriage right now just think to yourself life is so short and if you feel silenced then please come forward and do something about it.

Walking away doesn't make you weak, it means you have your self respect and you don't accept being in an unhappy marriage where there is abuse, domestic violence, cheating partners and anything else which is damaging the marriage.

I am so happy I did walk away and I don't regret a thing and the one thing that was my support was my faith in Waheguru and my lovely parents.

Let's help one another get through it and lets come together as women to support one another. 'Be the woman who fixes another woman's crown without telling the world that it was crooked'.

You can contact Minreet Kaur on Twitter: @minkaur5, or Instagram @Minreet_Kaur

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