Panelists: Dr. Fatima Aqeel, Dr. Ayesha Masood and Dr. Ghazal Asif

Where: Live on LUMS Facebook

In this talk, the speakers focused on how women and men search for marriage partners in a developing country marriage market like Pakistan. Using a unique data set of marriage advertisements spanning two decades, Dr. Fatima Aqeel shared her stats regarding distinct spousal search patterns based on the characteristics of the ad-poster. The speakers also discussed how the marriage demands are highly gendered: men search for physical features and women for stable occupations; and women emphasize their own physical features while men emphasize their occupation, suggesting that both sides of the market are well-informed. Moreover, Dr. Fatima Aqeel also highlighted how women make fewer demands in prospective partners than men do, and their demands decrease relatively rapidly with age compared to men, even when they are of the same education level. Finally, the suggestive evidence by her research showed that actual matches in the Labor Force Surveys are closer to men's desires, than to women's desires; women's time-bound fecundity constrains their marriage search in a market with strong gender norms; and the potential cost of this search pattern is matching with less satisfactory partners than male ad-posters do.