Women's Status and Marriage Patterns in India
Katherine Trent, University at Albany, State University of New York
Sunita Bose, University at Albany, State University of New York
Data from the 1998-1999 National Family Health Survey (NFHS2) of India are used to examine marriage patterns and their correlates for a sample of 64,855 once-married women ages 25 to 49. The basic characteristics of marriages are described and measures of women’s status are related to different dimensions of marriage: age at marriage, child marriage, late marriage, and age and education differences between spouses. Specifically, the net effects of women’s age, language, caste, standard of living, childhood residence, literacy status, and son preference on these dimensions of marriage are examined. The net effects of these measures of women’s status, along with age at marriage, and age and education differences between spouses, on the relative power and freedom women have to make household and other decisions will also be examined. These decisions are about cooking, health care, purchases, going to market, visiting relatives and friends, or setting aside money.