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By contrast, in South Asia arranged marriage systems have shown great resilience.Why has this been the case in the patriarchal and patrilocal family systems of South Asia but not the patriarchal and patrilocal Confucianist-influenced family systems of East Asia? Jones, NUS As countries in Asia go through difficult demographic transitions, marriage patterns have never been more important.Asia was traditionally characterised by universal marriage — defined as when fewer than 5 per cent of women have not married by the age of 50.But divorce rates remain generally very low in South Asian countries.
The people of Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Myanmar marry late, while the people of Indonesia marry earlier.
Many of these arranged marriages take place below the official minimum age for marriage and in contravention of Article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which states that ‘marriage shall be entered into only with the free and full consent of the intending spouses’.
The young brides also tend to give birth at a very early age, which leads to adverse health consequences for both mother and child.
Women in the region still prefer to marry up, and men are often reluctant to marry someone who is better educated or makes more money than they do.
To add to these factors, effective matchmaking procedures have not emerged to replace the earlier arranged marriage systems.