Raising girls' age to marry: A push directed to improving health of mother, child - The Tribune India

Join Whatsapp Channel

Raising girls' age to marry

A push directed to improving health of mother, child

Raising girls' age to marry

Raising the legal age of marriage for women is a step forward, but it will not suffice to address the multi-pronged and complex realities still breeding on the ground. Photo for representation only.



Bringing the girls on a par with the boys, the Union Cabinet’s ‘I do’ to the proposal of increasing the minimum lawful age of marriage for women from 18 years to 21 years is pregnant with possibilities that can fulfil many other vows not kept by the governments over the years. The foremost door opened by suitably amending the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act and the Hindu Marriage Act is one of increasing the chances of girls going on to finish their higher studies. And education — of both men and women — is the bedrock of progressive social reforms. It is the most potent tool for ridding society of its scourges as it empowers women with an awareness and ability to stand up against suppressive practices, abuse and patriarchy perpetuated through the ages.

At 18, a girl generally just about clears her Class XII exams and is barely equipped with skillsets that can bring in meaningful employment and financial independence. The three more years thus gained would enable her to acquire better academic or vocational expertise and broaden her mental horizon to encompass the harsh practicalities of life. Consequently, with a career goal in mind, she is more likely to make a better informed decision on the all-important and life-altering matter of marriage. A bride entering the marital home armed with a professional skillset and empowered with knowledge has a direct bearing on child-bearing and long-term family health and, in turn, of society. It fosters a financial and health consciousness that is much needed to achieve the goals of reducing maternal and child mortality rates, as also combating issues of malnutrition and other pesky health indices.

However, crucial to attaining these ambitious objectives is the strengthening of the ecosystem of schools, colleges, security and transportation that engenders education at the last mile. A universal legal framework must be considered to cover the varying practices among different religious groups over marriage. Raising the legal age of marriage for women is a step forward, but it will not suffice to address the multi-pronged and complex realities still breeding on the ground.


Top News

Indian elections victory for democratic world: PM at G7

Indian elections victory for democratic world: PM Modi at G7

Bats for ending tech monopoly, cites its use in biggest poll...

Terror on rise, 50,000 CAPF men head to J&K

Terror on rise, 50,000 CAPF men head to J&K

Decision before PM’s June 21 visit | Assets of terror sympat...

Lord Ram didn’t let ‘arrogant’ BJP secure majority: Indresh

Lord Ram didn’t let ‘arrogant’ BJP secure majority: RSS leader Indresh Kumar

Not Sangh view, ties with party same as before: RSS

Sole breadwinner, Hoshiarpur man was among Kuwait victims

Sole breadwinner, Hoshiarpur man was among Kuwait victims

IAF plane brings back mortal remains of 45 Indians


Cities

View All