The Government of India has proposed raising the minimum legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years. Currently, the minimum legal age for women to marry is 18 years for men, the corresponding age is 21 years. The legal age of marriage will be raised for all women regardless of their religion.
Girls are usually forced to marry without giving them a chance to experience love and relationships. Girls not having a means of income for herself will be bound to depend on the husband for the rest of her life if she is married without an education or ability to earn.. Making it 21 will force the parents to give the girl a means to learn to earn or further education which will help her to have a solid base in finding job opportunities later.
The recently released National Family Health Survey (NFHS) revealed that child marriage has come down from 27% in 2015-16 to 23% in 2019-20 according to the NFHS report 2019-20 one fourth of the women aged between 20 to 24 years were married before turning 18 years old. An early age of marriage, and consequent early pregnancies also has an impact on nutritional levels of mothers and their children and their overall health and mental wellbeing.
Even with the legal age of marriage for women being kept at 18 years, child marriages continue in India and decrease in such marriages is not because of existing law but because of increase in families income levels and girls’ education.
Completing her education and employability ensures a better life for a girl than being dependent on her husband all her life.
“A woman is the full of circle. Within her circle is the power to Create, Nurture and Transform.”
Name: Farhat Khan