12 Jan LEGAL AGE OF MARRIAGE (CHILD MARRIAGE)
LEGAL AGE OF MARRIAGE- Today Current Affairs
GS-2 ISSUES RELATED TO WOMEN
The recently introduced prohibition of child marriage amendment Bill 2021, today is the age of marriage for women from 18 years to 21 years has been referred to the parliamentary standing committee on education, women children youth and sports. According to the government the proposed law will ensure equal chance for women in higher education and access to jobs and help improve maternal mortality rate and nutritional levels.
India and minimum marriageable age: The Hindu Analysis
- For Hindus The Hindu marriage Act 1955 sets 18 years for women and 21 years for men as the minimum age.
- In Islam the marriage of a minor who has attained puberty is valid.
- The special marriage Act 1954 and the prohibition of child marriage Act 2006 also prescribed 18 and 21 years as a minimum age of of consent for marriage for women and men respectively.
Steps taken by India to reduce gender gap: The Hindu Analysis
- India has ratified the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women in 1993.
- Article 16 of this convention is strictly for B child marriage and asks government to identify and in force the minimum marriage age for women.
- Since 1998 India has at National legislation exclusively on human rights protections in consonance with the universal declaration of human rights 1948.
Challenges before increasing legal marriageable age: The Hindu Analysis
- Applicability on Muslim women-since Muslim community lacks the codification of personal laws and hence are deprived of the legal security which every other minority section has access to, hence there is demand for amendment to bring Muslim community under the Ambit.
- Inconsistency between improvement of nutritional status and maternal mortality rates an increase in the age of marriage-anaemia is not affected by age of marriage and is the major culprit for maternal mortality rates. Also a poor Naresh woman does not become better Naresh just by being married off 3 years later.
- States like Punjab Haryana do have higher than average marriageable age but also have skewed sex ratio. Clearly the link between marriage and other social economic parameters is not established unless other factors are taken care of.
- The study showed that the prohibition of child marriage Act is not being used to stop communities from holding under age marriage rather than use by parents of a girl who is in a so called elopement or love marriage that they are exposed to.
- It is unlikely to benefit financially dependent women.
Advantage of increasing legal marriageable age: The Hindu Analysis
- Protection of women against early and child marriage will protect the basic rights.
- Takeover laws will bring equality and gender parity.
- The law will facilitate women empowerment .
- Whenever a progressive laws introduced in a society it is bound to face resistance from some section of society but that should not stop the law from bringing desired form in the society, however the issue lies in the effective implementation of the law unless that improve the problems will remain to stay whether the age of marriage for girls is 18 to 21 years. Further the law is necessary but not sufficient, as long as the commercialisation of education continues the poor especially women and girls are deterred from accessing education again of the districts village Aaj and smaller towns does not have health facilities the women will be excluded from accessing various scheme and programs targeted at their health improvement does a multidimensional reform is required to reap the benefit of higher marriageable age.
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Plutus IAS Current Affairs Team Member