August 19, 2016

Another view on late marriage

In the past, Myanmar women married at an early age. After they married, most of them quit their jobs to become homemakers. The reason may be that they could depend upon their spouses for a living. However, women today have begun marrying at later ages. Highly educated women find it difficult to justify marriage when they are financially independent. Another reason for their lack of interest in marriage may be that they cannot find spouses who match their educational qualifications or financial status. The world is slowly taking an egalitarian turn.
In any case, as the educational level of women increases, the proportion of women who have never married tends to rise. The proportion of never-married women in Myanmar is already high compared to other countries in the region, and the demographic and social impact of this trend can be expected to be even greater in future. It is worth noting that much of this social impact will be driven by unmarried women being more likely to participate in the labour force and to contribute to the country’s productivity.
The rise in the proportion of late-marrying women has a number of implications for themselves and for their families. Women who marry later can stay at school longer and acquire the skills and training needed for higher-income jobs. Thus, they can earn more for themselves and for their families before and during marriage. Marrying at a later age enables them to enter marriage with greater emotional and physical maturity to meet the challenges of family life. This should enable them to play more active roles in the community and in national development.
Later marriage often means having children at a later age. This may reflect a reduction in teen pregnancies, in which the risks to both the mother and baby are high. However, childbearing at much older ages also comes with health risks.
In a nutshell, both late marriage and early marriage have advantages and disadvantages. The decision to never marry also presents benefits and challenges for both the individual and the society at large.
Marriage is a matter of personal choice, and each person should make this choice independently.


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