Friday, October 7, 2022

Increasing marriage age for girls is not a simple issue

The present government has shown it’s clear intention to increase the age of marriage from 18 to 21.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has himself spoken about this many times. But we must remember that we live in a multi-layered society that has a complex structure. Hasty decision on such issues will lead to more chaos.

It is an issue that will possibly have a deep social logical impact on the society. Even if the intention of the government is to provide better opportunity and education to the girls, there are other issues that demand attention.

With the continuous effort of the government and non government sector, there is a decline in the child marriages. when things are moving in a right direction there seems to be no need to increase the age of marriage.

If you look from the perspective of girl it seems that this decision is going to give her better opportunity to complete the basic education.It will also give her time to take mature decision on self arranged marriage and when to have baby and how to take care of it. But if you think from the parent’s perspective, there are issues like poverty, illiteracy, discrimination, issues of security and dowry etc.

There are n number of reasons why in India every father is in a haste for getting her daughter married at earliest.

There is also probability that many marriages, where the age of the girl is between 18 to 21, will be treated as illegal which is another battle in itself.

if government is sincerely thinking to increase the age of marriage of the girls it must interlink various other programs running for women empowerment – education, security, financial assistance, legal protection, proper counselling, vocational training- all must be integrated for the overall development of the girl child.

It must also not forget that we are plural and diverse. It would be nice if consensus can be solicited in this sensitive issue.

Dr. Neha Tiwari
Dr. Neha Tiwari
Dr Neha Tiwari is an academic, writer, critic and filmmaker. She has been nominated as a member of the jury for Best Writing in Cinema for the 65th National Film Awards. She has written 6 state-level radio features and 1 Serial for AIR. Her areas of interest include media, literature and life. She teaches in Karim City College Jamshedpur as an Assistant Professor of English. She is also nurturing Mass Communication as a Professor In-charge since 2005.

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