Minimum Age of Marriage : What should be the Right Age for Girls … ?????

Why Women Still Can't Have It All - The Atlantic

Nowadays a very serious discussion is going on over ‘What should be the Minimum Age of Marriage for Girls’. So it is also our responsibility to have a proper discussion on the topic keeping all the aspects in mind, specially the concerns we need to take under consideration while making a policy related to it.

PHOTOS: PM Narendra Modi's 74th Independence Day speech at Red Fort -  india-news - photos - Hindustan Times

How this Policy suddenly came into Mind … ?????

Well … this issue was first raised by our finance minister NIRMALA SITHARAMAN while presenting the Budget of fiscal year 2019-20. It was followed up by our honorable prime minister talking about raising the minimum age of marriage for Women during his last independence day speech. The task force headed by JAYA JAITLEY was also set up in June for looking not just into the minimum age, but also the factors such as ‘Nutrition levels in Women’ and ‘Maternal Mortality Rate’ .

Situation in INDIA

Govt mulling revising legal age of marriage for girls, hints PM Modi |  India News - Times of India

At the moment, the minimum age of marriage is 21 years for boys and 18 years for Girls. It was earlier used to be 18 years for boys and 15 years for girls, which was amended after the SHARDA ACT (1929). According to data, currently 56% women in INDIA get married between the age of 18 and 21 which means a majority is in the particular age group, which is exactly being targeted to exclude through the new policy.

Now, if we look at the whole world we see that 143 countries have the minimum age of marriage for women as 18 only and out of them 140 have also kept the minimum age for boys also at 18. This aspect was put forward by Law Commission in 2018 in a consultative paper on Family Laws calling for uniform minimum age of marriage for both boys and girls. But its obvious that boy’s minimum age won’t be reduced back to 18 so its the girl’s minimum age only which will be pushed to 21.

One more aspect related to this is … SEX. Well … I mean having a sexual intercourse. Supreme Court has ruled any kind of sexual intercourse with a minor girl as RAPE because anyone below 18 can in no way give consent for intercourse. Here we are not talking about Child Marriage, as the government’s proposal to call Child Marriage ‘Void Ab Initio’ (invalid at outset) is yet to take the shape of a decision and is clearly violated with utmost ease. Currently, still 12% girls in the age group 15-19 are married and for an even bigger worry, 31.5% of them are found to be a Mother (majority in age group 15-16).

Govt mulling revising legal age of marriage for girls, hints PM Modi |  India News - Times of India

Practical Aspects Attached

Keeping all the data and numbers aside, let us once also try to look into the matter with some practical aspects. In INDIA it is not a new fact that Girls are considered as burden which are to be carried upon only till Marriage. A girl’s marriage is considered the ‘Key for Freeness’ for parents as if the ultimate target of that girl taking birth was Marriage only. You will hear parents being worried for a boy’s career and a girl’s marriage, seldom would you find parents showing as much concern to a girl’s career as much to her marriage.

Here, one more notable point is considerably less worry for a boy’s marriage and the reason for that is, the Society knows that marriage is a girl’s headache and in NO case will it be a problem for a boy to find a girl for marriage. As soon as a boy starts facing difficulties living a life of Bachelor, marriage is arranged for him because the sole purpose of a girl should be to be a housewife.

Here is one Sick Indian P... | Quotes & Writings by SID ROSHAN | YourQuote

The SICK Indian Mindset

Tell me … what happens if a boy fails to clear an exam or to get in a job. He is consoled and encouraged and he tries again, if again he fails this cycle continues at least for quite a number of years after which an alternative way is figured out to settle him. But, think of this situation from a girl’s point of view. What happens if she fails, is she similarly encouraged or consoled, we all know the answer is No. Instead parents start searching for marriage as if their girl being jobless is a big relief for them and now they can focus on achieving the ‘Ultimate Aim’ of a girl’s life without thinking for once whether he will be able to hold the burden and responsibility of marriage or not.

Revised minimum age for girls' marriage soon- The New Indian Express

Why Minimum Age is not the Solution

The last paragraph exactly depicted that the problem is not just related to Minimum Age of marriage but of the mindset which prevails in our country regarding a girl. Even today the minimum age is 18, but still we saw that a significant number get married and even become Mother. Also, it needs no explanation that some are married even below that age. So, what purpose did the minimum age actually served when we are not able to keep a check on its violation.

Ideal Age for Marriage: 25 for Women and 27 for Men

One more aspect I would like to put forward here. Experts have been saying this for a while, that minimum age of marriage is not just important for balance in society but also for the health of women. Though everyone becomes an adult at 18 but the reproductive organs and other organs completely develop out only after 21 especially in Women. But, I would still say that ‘Minimum Age’ is not the solution. Consider it, 21 is the age where all organs develop properly but not the hard and fast age, it can vary 1-2 years more or less. Suppose, now we set minimum age at 21, people are not that damn mature to take all these aspects in mind. What they will do, as soon as there girl turn 21, within a second they will issue her marriage card with the earliest boy available. Also, you may see girls getting married at 20 year 9months or 10months. All this is done as if they have done such a obligation on their daughter, on the society and on the country. I hope you have understood the point I am trying to make here.

Conclusion : Educate the Sick People

I don’t have any objection with raising of the minimum age as many of you must have speculated. But the thing I am trying to say is raising the minimum age of marriage will in no way have any effect as long as people don’t have a rare body organ ‘BRAIN’. If I will go into more details it will become more of a Feminism and Women Empowerment Lecture, but I think I have made the point. Some rationalization and awareness needs to be to spread and I am really serious regarding it. Just reading and liking the article is not enough, this mindset needs to be propagated. I would also expect and instead request our prime minister to speak on this thing specifically during a ‘Mann Ki Baat’, once he has started this topic it will be very great of him. So hereby I think I should rest the case hoping that it helped in raising at least ‘some’ awareness regarding maturity of when to marry.

The courage to say no to child marriage will be more when an environment is created for girls to realise their dreams. Photo: https://www.wallpaperflare.com/



References :

  1. Govt mulling revising legal age of marriage for girls, hints PM Modi, By Ambika Pandit,Aug16 2020 https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/govt-mulling-revising-legal-age-of-marriage-for-girls-hints-pm-modi/articleshow/77568323.cms
  2. Should minimum age for marriage of girls be raised to 21 , By Ghasiram Panda, July 26, 2020 https://www.downtoearth.org.in/blog/health/should-minimum-age-for-marriage-of-girls-be-raised-to-21-72485

Don’t miss my posts!

We don’t spam!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *