Consensual union: its implications to Filipino women’s well-being

Socorro A. Gultiano, University of San Carlos

The Philippines is predominantly a Catholic country, thus the ideal form of marriage is one that is sanctioned by church and state. Yet recent studies have shown that cohabitation, whether temporary or permanent, is not uncommon and is in fact on the rise among Filipinos. However, little is known about the marital, psychological and economic consequences that this union brings, especially to women. With the use of panel data from about 2,000 childbearing women in Metropolitan Cebu, Philippines, this study will: 1) examine marital trajectories of women who started in consensual unions relative to those whose first union was legal, and 2) compare the psychological and economic well-being of these women given their different marital trajectories. Preliminary results show that women who started in consensual unions are more likely to experience multiple marriages; it is hypothesized that this puts them at risk psychologically and economically.

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Presented in Poster Session 2: Fertility, family and children