Living together without marriage is a very new trend in Nepali society. Although, such trend is fairly common in developed countries, our traditional society still raises eyebrows on such couples.
In the US almost half of young adults aged 20-40 are cohabiting instead of getting married. Statistics show that cohabitation has increased nearly 1,000 percent since 1980, and the marriage rate has dropped more than 40 percent since 1960 in the US. However, our Nepali society still frowns on premarital sex and prefers arranged marriages. Although more young, unmarried couples are choosing to live together in cities they prefer to remain anonymous.
In a report prepared by National Women’s Commission, there are considerable number of couple living together in Kathmandu without marriage. Many of such couples don’t tell their parents about co-habitation and pose themselves as married couple in the locality they live in.
There hasn’t been any studies to find out the exact number of such couples. However, the Women’s Commission has registered 26 cases in which such couples had problem and they seek support of the Commission on its resolution. If we assume the couple having problem are 1% of the total such population, there should be about 5200 people (2600 couples) living together without marriage (This is a rough estimate and can’t be considered true).
According to the Women’s Commission report authored by Chetnath Ghimire and Kopila Rijal, the couple are very helpful in the initial stage. But, when one starts betraying another then the problem arise. In some cases, when a girl gets pregnant the problem start.
These people live together because of various factors like :
- to taste the waters
- financial problem to get married
- parent’s disagreement in the marriage
The reports revealed that it is not only two unmarried people who living together. Married male and unmarried female, and unmarried male and married female were also found to be living together.
Majority of the such couple were found to be well educated and only a few were less educated. The report also mentioned that, in such cases the most common victim of the problem is the female.
The report and the findings represents a very tiny sample and hence can’t be considered representative. A first attempt in the study of that nature is very appreciable.