To marry or not? As govt revisits marriageable age for women…

Currently, the minimum age of marriage in the country is 18 years for women and 21 for men

An upward revision of marriageable age for women would come in the backdrop of a serious fight against child marriage that still haunts corners of the country. Image: Prathap Ravishankar

Whether or not you are of eligible age to get married will be soon decided by the central government that is deliberating on a revision in the minimum age of marriage for women. A decision in this regard will be taken after a committee, set up for this, sends its report.

This was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at a video conference on Friday. He said that girls’ gross enrolment ratio in education has turned higher than that of boys for the first time in India due to several efforts taken by the government in the last six years.

Also read: Committee set up to mull over minimum marriage age for women, says Modi

“There is an important deliberation going on to decide what should be the ideal age of marriage for daughters,” said the prime minister. Currently, the minimum age of marriage is 18 years for women and 21 for men.

An upward revision of marriageable age for women would come in the backdrop of a serious fight against child marriage that still haunts corners of the country. Reports cite a 2018 Unicef data as saying that 27 per cent girls in India get married before they turn 18.

According to a Child Rights and You (CRY) report, released this month, there are currently 17.26 million married children and adolescents in India, who are in the 10-19 age group. About 7 per cent of the population in this age group is married in India, the report says.

It further said that girls in the 10-19 age group account for 75 per cent of all the married children in India. The number stands at 13.04 million for girls of the total 17.26 married children in the country. Also, 75 per cent of all married children reside in rural areas.

The prime minister, in his Independence Day speech, had announced that his government was deliberating on what should be the minimum age of marriage for women and that a committee has been set up to look into the matter.

Meanwhile, on Friday, he highlighted the efforts taken by his government in the last six years to fight against malnutrition. Highlighting other achievements, the prime minister said the government has built 11 crore toilets across the country under the Swachh Bharat Mission and has launched Jal Jeevan Mission to provide piped drinking water.

The government is also providing sanitary pads at ₹1 to poor women, he further said, adding that it is because of these efforts, for the first time, the gross enrolment ratio of girls in education is more than that of boys.

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