Recently, there has been a lot of drama about the Nigerian Pastor who was in Kenya to give a "talk" to single women about their marital prospects, or lack thereof. To me, it's crazy that a country's fourth estate should stop all other forms of news reporting and concentrate on the Nigerian pastor and his drones of minions. However, it seems to be that marriage is an important component of the society and even the economy. I will try and analyse it as simply as I can, without delving too much into the economics of it.

The first issue I should raise is that, despite the population figures coming out and proving that indeed there is a 1:1 ratio of men and women, the figures can be deceiving. My main qualm is that the figures don't take into account the prison population. There are more men in jail than there are women and as such this could affect the 1:1 ratio of men and women. However, given that Kenya doesn't have a prison-industrial complex like the USA, this should not greatly affect the gender balance.

The second issue is that, the women who throned KICC to hear from Pastor Ojigbani were working women and they seemed to be financially independent, as are a number of women in today's Kenyan society. This is my main point, the young women who were on average in their late twenties, haven't yet analysed their situation and here is where I step in. If the figures are balanced as the media suggests that they are, then every single woman is balanced out by a single man. If there are x single women in their twenties, then there will be x single men in their 20's. Therefore the solitude doesn't affect women only, it's just that it suits men better as they can "enjoy" life as singles more than women.

The women in Kenya should realise that their roles in society have changed. It is not like before where their mothers got married young and took care of them and their siblings. These days women are undertaking tertiary and post graduate studies and are focusing on their work, as is to be expected in a cosmopolitan city like Nairobi. They should then realise that they won't marry as young as their mothers did and in fact they are likely to remain unmarried into their late twenties and early thirties. A number of my friends have whined to me about the fact that they are single and "need" to find a husband, while they are just in their early thirties. The fact is that women will get married later into their lives as school and work take more of their time, especially given the fact that we live in a world of the contraceptive pill.

I guess for the point to hit home, I should refer to "Sex and the City", the quintessential chic flick, which was a syndicated series. The women, Samantha, Charlotte, Miranda and Carrie grapple with their careers and being single women in New York. Through booze-filled nights out in the town, ice cream sleep overs, shopping sprees in the city and a whole load of tears, they slowly discover themselves. Through their self discovery, they then find ways of making their work lives and their love lives work for them. It is a journey. Only later on in their early thirties do most of them get married, mind you Samantha stays single, but it's her choice. Who says in the third sequel (Lord, I pray that it doesn't happen), she won't get married?. However, in a nutshell, my point is that times have changed and as such our approaches to marriage should change. Women can't blame men for living in pre-historic times as is apparent from their expectations of a wife, whereas it is even more apparent through the Pastor Ojigbani incident that they are the ones living in pre-historic times by being so desperate to get hitched.

It should be noted that there is an element of comparative advantage when people are deciding to get married. Given that marriage is a union of two, then it can be analysed in the same way as bilateral trade. The theory of comparative advantage simply states that people should focus on what they are more good (and I don't mean better) at and get what they need through trade. An example is fitting, lets say a lawyer hires a secretary with paralegal training. The lawyer can type faster than the secretary but is by far more skillful in law than the secretary. The theory of comparative advantage states that even though he is a better typist, he should focus on what is much better at and that is law while the secretary does the typing. In the same way, both men and women should focus on doing what they are more suited to and trade it for what they need. I am not implying any specific roles as they will differ from one couple to another, however it is one way of looking at the union of marriage, besides love.

However, before I digress further, it should be observed that the typical Nairobi woman will have to make a trade off, either get married young and give up her career, concentrate fully on her career and never get married or go the Carrie, Miranda and Charlotte way, find a way for both to work together. The third course of action will take time, and as such women will get married in their late twenties and early thirties. Therefore the women should just relax and let it be, they will become Mrs. Somebody someday.

Signing off, I am just reminding you that from tomorrow, the blog resumes it's normal economic and financial analysis.