Big Gains in India Seen From Higher Legal Marriage Age of Women

(Bloomberg) — Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s plan to raise the legal age for marriage of women carry “enormous” economic and social gains for the world’s second-most populous nation, according to the State Bank of India.

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The benefits range from lowering maternal deaths and improving nutrition levels in the near term to putting more girls in college and enabling women to achieve greater financial independence in the long-term, Soumya Kanti Ghosh, an economist with SBI, wrote in a report to clients Thursday.

“This is clear from the data,” Ghosh said. “The working age population increases with high marriage age.”

While the mean female marriage age in India is already above 21 years, about 35% of are married before then, with the current legal limit at 18 years, according to SBI. India is home to every third child bride in the world, with more than 100 million getting married even before turning 15, according to the United Nations Children’s Fund.

Marriage at a young age means not even a quarter of women in India get into the labor force despite accounting for almost half of the 1.3 billion population. Women earn 35% less on average than men, compared to the global average of a 16% gap.

A government panel is looking at the right marriageable age for women in India, with Modi saying a decision would be taken soon. This would be the first revision in more than four decades and put India in the league of Asian peers such as China, Japan and Singapore.

The marriage age for women in India might be raised to 21 years, the same as for men, according to Ghosh, who sees the number of women graduates rising as much as 7 percentage points from 9.8% at present.

“The move will have other legal and psychological benefits also,” Ghosh said. “Any ground-level change will only happen when the psyche of people alter.”

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Why Do Women’s Feet Get Bigger As They Age?

There are many reasons why women’s feet get wider as they age. Some of the reasons include weight gain and an aging population. We’ve probably all noticed that people are generally bigger today than years ago. Weight gain adds more pressure on your feet as you stand or walk which makes the joints and ligaments work harder to retain the structure of your feet. The more pressure the feet have to put up with, the more your feet will stretch or spread out. As feet age, they lose fat padding and grow wider and longer, resulting in lower arches and problems like corns and calluses. Structural changes can affect balance and gait. With time, your feet will stop going back to their normal shape, and their size in due course will become wider and longer. As we get older the ligaments and soft tissue start to grow weaker and lose elasticity, causing the feet to grow wider and flatten.

Good fitting shoes with enough cushioning and support can help with this. As the foot becomes wider, longer and less padded, the plantar fascia tendon which runs along the length of the sole and makes up the arch becomes stretched; this contributes to the lowering of the arch. A lower arch can lead to bunions forming. Women are inclined to have wider feet due to pronation. Pronation is when the arch area in the inside of the foot, rolls inwards towards the ground. Women tend to have wider hips which make pronation more common in women than men. Legs are made to turn inwards at the knees, which can lead to pronation at the feet. If a woman is overpronated it will look as if she has flat feet. Pronated feet are wider than unpronated feet thus making them look bigger. Another reason when women complain about having wider feet is during pregnancy.

During this time, the body releases hormones which relax the soft tissue structures like the ligaments. This hormonal change along with the natural weight gain during pregnancy is known to increase a woman’s shoe size. Women tend to spend a lot of time walking and standing on hard surfaces, which can lead to foot deformities. Foot deformities such as hammertoes and bunions are caused by wearing ill-fitting shoes more often than not. Feet can change in size as we get older or heavier. Health problems like diabetes, circulation problems and heart disease can cause swollen ankles and feet, making them look bigger. Sales figures show that the average woman’s shoe size has gone up from a 5 in the past five years. This means that demand for the bigger sizes, like the nines, tens and elevens is also going up. This increase has been linked to the obesity epidemic.

Medical experts believe that consuming high-density foods like pizza and processed foods during puberty stimulates the growth hormone. This not only then increases waist size, it also affects other parts of the body such as the feet. What causes …

Wedding Etiquette in the Electronic Age

These days, computers, cell phones, and PDAs are a part of our daily lives. When it comes to planning your wedding, they can certainly come in very handy. With new technology, though, comes new etiquette, and there a few things to keep in mind when it comes to combining electronics and your wedding.

The first thing to know is that quicker isn’t always better. This may sound like it goes against how we live today, but it really does not. After all, if all you cared about was getting married as expeditiously as possible, then you would pop into City Hall on your lunch break, not plan a full ceremony and reception. So although it is great to be efficient, forget the idea that speed and convenience are all that matter, because that simply isn’t the case in society.

There are many ways that you can use your computer and other electronics to great advantage when planning your wedding. It is great to be able to peruse venues online, pick out your handmade wedding jewelry from a Internet retailer, and be able to text your fiance with questions during the day. But it is still true that the personal touch is best in some instances. That is why it feels more special when your wedding jewelry, for example, is handmade especially for you.

The personal touch brings us to one of the biggest etiquette questions: is it okay to send wedding invitations via email or evite? The answer is unequivocally NO! Do you really want the invitation to your special day to be mixed in with a bunch of offers for Viagra and credit scores? Sending a proper invitation in the mail on a good quality stationary sets the right tone for a wedding.

When it comes to the responses for your wedding, you can consider setting up a website where guests can R.S.V.P. Online. There is nothing wrong with this from a manners perspective, but you do run the risk that some of your older, less computer savvy guests may not respond. Base your decision on your guests list. Another option is to include a response card with the invitation, but to note on it that the reply can either be mailed in, or logged on your wedding website. This is probably the safest bet.

A great use of technology for planning your wedding is to set up the aforementioned wedding website. It is perfectly acceptable to direct guests there to find out about hotel and travel information, rather than sending out a huge packet of information. You will probably also save a lot of money on the printing and postage this way.

Wedding guests have certain obligations when it comes to electronic manners, as well. First and foremost: turn off all media during the ceremony. To allow your phone to ring as the bride and groom recite their vows would be incredibly rude and disrespectful. To answer the call would be unspeakable!

This is not to say that …

The Middle Age Women of Today

Up until this point, life has probably been about taking caring of and making everyone else happy. You have been putting everything into making your marriage successful, and you have poured your energies into making a happy home for your children.

At some point, you've put your career on hold for the benefit of others, and you have had to make decisions that you did serve your happiness. It is part and parcel of your existence, and that's just the way it is for many women.

There's no better time than now to take control of life and start doing more for yourself than now.

Doing More for Yourself

You're at midlife, enthusiastic, flourishing, and ready to tackle life. It's time to kiss guilt goodbye, and embrace what you love. It's time to do something new, whether you want to learn a new language, how to play the piano, or you have always wanted to learn how to dance the waltz.

Your midyears are the perfect time to step outside your comfort zone and throw yourself into something new.

It's time to embrace your confidence!

There's nothing sexier than the confidence that life experience brings. While aging might sound scary, living in fear will hold you back from living a full life. So, keep moving forward, learn every day, and listen to your heart.

Don't be afraid to be bold, present, brave, and fearless.

"Once you become fearless life becomes limitless."

Hobbies Make the Woman

Whether your interests are in arts, sports, in the home, on the water, or in the gym, you should feel free to dive in headfirst. You can take up a hobby that allows you to socialize with others, or to enjoy time on your own. They can be as cheap or as expensive as you want them to be, and they will help shape your lifestyle, and connect you with likeminded people, and energize you.

When it comes to hobbies for women in midlife, there is no limit. From book clubs, painting, gardening, golfing, and sewing to swimming, dancing, or jazzercise, playing an instrument, and calligraphy, whatever your point of interest, there is a hobby that will bring out the best in you and give you new meaning .

Finding a hobby that you love and that provides you with social engagement is vital to your mental health and overall happiness, especially if you don't get to experience a lot of socializing with your family and friends.

Letting Go of What Matters Less

Saying Goodbye to Judgements

Remember when you were young and you would get dressed thinking about what others may think of your outfit? Versus now, when chances are you aren't too worried about what other people think of how you are dressed or what you are wearing, you're concerned much more with whether you like it or how you feel in it. This is so liberating, a new mindset where you dress and how you look aims to satisfy you and promotes …