“When from a very early age, a girl is told that her true mission [in life] is to be a wife and a mother, even when grown-up she may never start asking if she is fully enjoying the rights that she has.” Student Avaliani agrees that such pressures may influence her thinking about marriage, but says she does not want to end up like a 25-year-old friend whom she terms a spinster.
In the past two years, the median age for first marriages has grown older in Georgia -- 26.8 years old for men and 25.1 years old for women, according to the Georgian National Statistics Service.
Just a few years ago, the figure for women was 23 years old.
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Twenty-three-year-old Liberali news magazine reporter Natia Guliashvili acknowledges that such pressure often prompts her female peers to rush to marry.
“Sometimes a girl is so convinced that her mission is to get married [and] that the earlier she achieves this, the sooner she feels self-realized,” Guliashvili said.
For many Georgian women, getting married at an older age means a more extended period of sexual abstinence.
Tamara Tavartkeldidze, a 79-year-old widow and retired literature teacher, recommends that young women should not worry about sex, but rather worry about finding Mr. “I got married when I was 30 and I have never wanted to have any other man,” Tavartkeldidze said of her deceased husband.
“We have two morals in this country: one for men and another for women,” said Tbilisi State University Gender Studies Professor Nino Javakhishvili.