Are you married? Divorced? Single?
It is a common question on many forms and surveys used in aid work. I never know why. I think it is often a proxy for, do you live with other people. And yet, it’s an entirely different question.
Understanding the size of your household (those living under one roof) and the age and gender of each person can be helpful if we are looking at nutrition and food requirements. But marital status? Not sure how that plays a role. In many cases marital status can be a source of shame when it is not what the person wants it to be. Reminding them of it isn’t what they need.
When we review the questions we ask in our surveys, we need to ask why a lot more. Why do we need this piece of data? How will it be used? And can we do without it? Perhaps we can start with marital status.
The choice is up to us.