Indian government clears proposal to raise marriage age of women from 18 to 21, same as men

WION Web Team
NEW DELHI Published: Dec 16, 2021, 07:28 AM(IST)

Representative image of a wedding. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

Story highlights

A comprehensive public awareness campaign should be planned to enhance social acceptance of the decision to raise the legal marriage age for women.

The Indian government has approved a proposal to raise the legal marriage age for women from 18 to 21, the same as it is for males.

This approval comes more than a year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi unveiled the proposal on India's Independence Day, in the year 2020.

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The idea is based on the suggestions of a task force established by the Centre to look into concerns such as maternal age, the imperatives of lowering MMR (Maternal Mortality Rate), nutritional levels, and other connected factors." 

The task force's suggestion came "after lengthy talks with professionals, and more significantly with young adults, especially young women, as the decision directly impacts them," according to Jaya Jaitly, a former member of the Samata Party. 

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A comprehensive public awareness campaign should be planned to enhance social acceptance of the decision to raise the legal marriage age for women, according to the committee.

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At the same time, it has worked to ensure that females have access to schools and universities, including organising transportation in cases when educational institutions are located in remote places.

Sex education should be formalised and integrated into the school curriculum, according to the committee.

The proposals also include training of women at polytechnic colleges, skills and business training, and livelihood enhancement as ways to ensure that a rise in the marriageable age may be accomplished.

(With inputs from agencies)

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