EARLY MARRIAGE AND EARLY MOTHERHOOD IN NEPAL
This paper examines age patterns of first marriage and motherhood and covariates of early marriage, delayed consummation of marriage and early motherhood in Nepal using data from the 2000 Nepal Adolescent and Young Adult Survey (NAYA). Both unmarried and married male and female youths (age 14–22) were included in the survey. The analysis is based on 2800 urban youths and 5075 rural youths with complete information on the variables examined. Proportional hazard models are used to estimate covariates of early marriage and early motherhood, and logistic regression models are used to estimate covariates of delayed consummation of marriage. The results show that early marriage and early motherhood are quite common among Nepalese women, especially in rural areas. Early marriage is much less common among men. Delayed consummation of marriage is common among very young brides, especially in rural areas. The main covariates associated with early marriage and early motherhood are respondent’s education, region of residence and ethnicity. The main covariates of delayed consummation of marriage are age at first marriage, region of residence and ethnicity. The study highlights the need to focus on less educated female youths in the Terai region in order to reduce the reproductive and child health risks associated with early marriage and early childbearing.