We live in an era where women empowerment has taken a new road. From education to marriage, everything is changing for women and it is certain that their voice will have more power in the future.
After independence and adoption of Indian constitution in 1950, the child marriage act has undergone several revisions. The minimum legal age for marriage, since 1978, has been 18 for women and 21 for men.
However, the Women and Child Development Ministry (WCD) announced that this body has now been set up, signaling a possibility of the legal age of marriage for women to be raised from 18 to 21.
In February, finance minister Nirmala Sitharaman said,” Women’s age of marriage was increased from 15 years to 18 years in 1978 by amending erstwhile Sharda Act of 1929. As India progresses further, opportunities open up for women to pursue higher education and careers. There are imperatives of lowering MMR (maternal mortality rate) as well as improvement of nutrition levels. Entire issue about the age of a girl entering motherhood needs to be seen in this light. I propose to appoint a task force that will present its recommendations in six months’
The age of marriage affects maternal and child health resources. In wake of this, the government is now veering towards same age for men and women. Data reflects that girls who are married before the age of 18 are more likely to experience unwanted pregnancies, are vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases and are at a greater risk of pregnancy related complications and maternal mortality.