The proposal to raise the minimum marriage age for women from 18 to 21 was approved by the Union Cabinet on 15th December 2021. As per law, currently, the marriageable age of men is 21 years old while for women, it is 18 years old. The proposed law aims to make it equal for both. To put the plan into action, the government intends to amend the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, the Special Marriage Act, and the Hindu Marriage Act. The proposal was supported by a NITI Aayog task force led by Jaya Jaitly.
CitySpidey spoke to community members to know about their viewpoints on the topic of "changing marriageable age from 18 to 21."
Shipra Lamba (37), a therapist, has shared her views on the topic. "As a nation looking forward to empowering women, this is a very positive move. For a man or a woman, their education, financial independence, cognitive maturity, physical health, and a chance and time to make their family proud and contribute is of utmost importance."
"Increasing the legal age of marriage will help many young women get an opportunity to have higher education, more time to work and stand on their own feet, achieve more personal goals, explore their potential, and be stronger mentally and physically when it comes to marital responsibilities and childbearing. This decision is a giant leap towards a brighter future for this nation's young women." She added further.
Monika Thural (46), a makeup artist, says, "I still remember the day when I got married, I was just 18 years old and had completed my 12th standard exams. I wish the law that has been proposed today would have been proposed many years ago. Today, increasing the marriageable age for women from 18 to 21 can ensure that the women have access to secondary education, make them independent and ensure equality. It is important further because young girls won't be forced to get married without their consent. Now women will have a greater say as the law will back them".
Navya, Marketing executive, says, "I feel like as a working 23-year-old woman in today's generation, this is something that must have been in practice for years. However, it is never too late; pushing the legal marriage age from 18 to 21 makes it indirectly essential for every girl to get a graduation degree, which will go a long way in making a women independent.
She further adds, "The issue of child marriage or underage marriage has been prevalent in our society for decades, and it still prevails in many rural areas; reaching the small zones and making a change is the need of the hour so that no girl child is forced to get married without her will."
Neelam Mehta, Lecturer at Delhi University, says. "By legalising marriage age for women from 18 to 21 and strictly implementing it, the Government can ensure that women in the majority have secondary education and raise her education, ensuring equality and withdrawing gender discrimination to a greater degree".
Akash Verma (35), an environmentalist, says. "It is reasonable that the law has been proposed regarding the marriageable age for girls from 18 to 21. I think it's a good decision, but I'm concerned about implementation. And it could be a challenge to implement with the existing marriage laws. Every culture and religion has its rules, with the new proposed proposal, it can be a little overwhelming. The various Marriage Acts need to be aligned with this decision carefully. Hopefully, it will encourage parents to continue the education of girls after school."