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Wednesday, Aug 17, 2022
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Women's Legal Marriage Age: Cabinet Clears Proposal To Increase It From 18 To 21

Women's legal marriage age might get increased from 18 to 21, making it same as those of men as it has been learnt, cabinet has passed a proposal to introduce the legislation for the same.

Women's Legal Marriage Age: Cabinet Clears Proposal To Increase It From 18 To 21
Representational Image | Pixabay
Women's Legal Marriage Age: Cabinet Clears Proposal To Increase It From 18 To 21
outlookindia.com
2021-12-16T09:53:20+05:30

The Cabinet has cleared a proposal to increase the legal minimum age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years making it equal to that of men. It has been learnt that after the Cabinet’s approval, the government will introduce an amendment to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, and therefore bring amendments to the Special Marriage Act and personal laws such as the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

The Indian Express reported, based on sources, that the clearance of the bill on Wednesday is based on recommendations submitted to Niti Aayog in December 2020 by the Centre’s task force, headed by Jaya Jaitly, which was constituted to examine “matters pertaining to age of motherhood, imperatives of lowering MMR (Maternal Mortality Rate), improvement of nutritional levels and related issues”.

The committee also recommended that a comprehensive public awareness campaignshould be chalked out to encourage social acceptance of the decision to raise the legal marriage age of women. At the same time, it has also sought access to schools and universities for girls, including arranging transportation facilities in the case of educational institutes being present in far-off areas.

The committee asserted sex education be formalised and introduced in the school curriculum. Training of women in polytechnic institutes, skills and business training and livelihood enhancement has also been a part of the recommendations as means to ensure that an increase in marriageable age can be implemented.

“If girls can show they are financially independent, parents will think twice before marrying them off early,’’ said sources.

What is the current law that defines legal marriage age of women?

According to the Section 5(iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, 18 years has been set as the minimum age for women and 21 for men to marry.

The Special Marriage Act, 1954 and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 also prescribe 18 and 21 years as the minimum age of consent for marriage for women and men, respectively.

(With additional inputs from The Indian Express)

 

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