Get Inspired, Be Empowered Forums Gender Justice Shouldn’t the legal age for marriage be the same for girls and boys both?

13 replies, 13 voices Last updated by nehachitroda 3 years ago
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    Yash Tiwari
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    All girls should be able to choose when they get married. They shouldn’t be forced to marry someone just because their parents chose that person for them. There are many cases where the girls have been forced to marry people they don’t even know, let alone love. In the present day of development, most adolescent girls want the same things as boys do – education and jobs. If this was possible for them, they wouldn’t mind waiting until they’re at least 20 or 25 years of age to get married. Adolescent girls in every nook and corner of the world are being subjugated by our society. The majority, if not all, is forced to marry at an age that human rights activists call infantile. There are a few countries that have amended their laws intending to increase the legal age for girls and boys marriage, but these modifications are effective only on paper. Arranged marriages are still flourishing even today, and very young girls are marrying older men (according to tradition).

    Although it is heartening to see how girls are making their presence felt in this [adolescent age], the attitude of adult males, who are considered ‘bread winners’ is not very deferential towards them. They throw all kinds of things and then have a field day at her expense. The attitude of these adult men makes it more and more imperative for men, as well as women, to be aware of the legal status of parents. The country is still patriarchal, despite all the progress in maternal health care and family planning. In our country, security has always been an issue for women. In most parts of the world, the need for security does not necessarily stem from poverty alone; recent societal changes have resulted in increased insecurity for women. When a young woman marries, she does so with the belief that she will be cared for until death.

    Getting trapped into an early marriage not only ruins their childhood and adolescence but also results in an enormous financial burden on the family. To make matters worse, many of these girls are victims of domestic abuse. In addition to all these, decades of research have shown that girls who marry young are more likely to drop out from school, and have less productive lives in general than those who get married later. And with each passing year, this risk grows. The causes of high underage marriage in India are complex.

    A majority of the reasons given by respondents for early age at marriage were due to cultural and economic factors. Poverty was cited as the most influential factor (50.2 percent), followed by ‘arranged marriage’ (38.8 percent) and social status (19.7 percent). Other major reasons included lack of education, early pregnancy, financial need, and lack of employment opportunities for women. Child marriage is an expression of the low status accorded to girls in India. Many other steps need to be taken like improving access to education, financial inclusion, health and nutrition, and ensuring basic standards of living.

    Shubhangini Shaktawat
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    Shouldn’t the legal age for marriage be the same for girls and boys both?
    The Indian government has set the minimum age limit for marriage on 21 for boys and 18 for girls. Why? Shouldn’t the legal age for marriage be the same for girls and boys both? A very ancient stereotype in society says that a man should always marry a woman who is younger to him in age and a woman should always marry a man who is older to her in age, only so that the man can always boss around and be controlling and dominant towards her.
    How is it fair to have a different age criteria for marriage for both the genders? Does a girl not have to follow her dreams and make them come true? They say the minimum marriageable age for girls should be lesser than boys because they mature earlier than boys. What does that have to do with a girl’s minimum marriageable age? Families that are socially backward use this law as a weapon and forcibly get their daughters married at an age as young as 18. I understand that this is the minimum age limit and not the mandatory age requirement, but people with narrow mindsets do not.
    Getting married young in such rural areas results into bearing children young. Also, there are multiple issues and problems in the handling of the household and marriage. Things get toxic and by the time the girl realizes that she too has her rights to live her life on her own terms, it gets too late. Despite that, once she realizes, the marriage starts facing serious problems as conflicts start happening between the couple. Eventually she is left with multiple children as she got pregnant first when she was 18. She is left with no job, hence no source of money as her in laws and husband would never permit her. A lack of education and information about health and hygiene and money results into diseased children. Why to lead such a miserable life? She cannot provide the life to her children that she wished for them and cannot even educate them.
    The legal age for marriage should be the same for boys and girls, without a question. It will help India feel a little more educated or up to date about how to go about things in modern times, and also prevent lives of thousands of girls from getting ruined.
    A woman myself,
    Shubhangini Shaktawat

    Manpreet Singh
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    It is very important for girls to be able to get some independence and not get married early. We have made marriage compulsory by using social norms in order to achieve social and economic status. However, the increased marriable age to 21 years will not be that impactful. Minimum marriage age does not imply compulsory age. It only shows that under those years there could be criminal prosecution under the child marriage law. Raising the age of marriage to 21 years could mean that girls will have no say in their personal affairs until they are 21 years old. Surprisingly, the law against child marriage is widely used by parents against eloping daughters. It has become a tool of parental control and punishment for boys or girls who choose to be their husbands. Therefore, most cases are taken to court by arranged marriages. And only a third of all cases related to arranged marriages, sometimes brought by parents or husbands to dissolve or dissolve marriages that have broken down as a result of domestic violence or marital affairs. Thus, increasing the marriable age will not help much.
    Increasing the age of 21 could mean continuing parental control of girls until the age of 21. We have seen this in the High Court and the Kerala High Court in the Hadiya case, where the decision of an older woman to marry was challenged by her parents. This is how it plays out in the Indian context. An important provision in the PCMA is that it allows a minority group to reject the marriage or cause it to be dissolved for up to two years to get the majority. This allows girls to fall for their partners to demand that their marriages be protected. This right should not be taken away. The legal age does not speak or provide protection in child marriage, it only makes it punishable, the marriage always works. Thus the legal power of the PCMA and its flexibility, rather than being persecuted, empowers social workers to prevent marriages.
    So in order to have a stronger impact, girls or women need to be made more independent and educated so that they do not become overly dependent on the patriarchal setting, which is the cause of the problem. Simply increasing the age of marriage will not solve the big problem.

    PALAK KASHIV
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    I totally agree the legally the age of marriage male and female would be the same at age of 21, the government should change this. Just because boys get matured. At age of 18 women is just completed her basic education she is almost going to start her career she is forced to get married to a person who is bigger than him, I think a girl should able to decide at which age they want to marry, even before getting married boy also need to make sure that they are financially independent and are ready to take responsibility of one more person. Because it does not happen like this it creates a financial burden. Women who are married at an early age still small to handle the family take care of in-laws and manage everything. Women when get married early, they get pregnant have to face many complications when they have a baby. They’re also being cases where women die. Women need to pursue dreams and learn new things at the age of18, parents, and society forces them to marry. Earlier people used to marry at age of 18 and 21 because there were not many things were developed and not a lot of opportunities, but now everything has changed. Marriage is the turning point in a person’s life, the legal age of marriage be after 22 years. Women had suffered the rude behavior of the in-laws and agree with what their husband wants, she does not know how to put her opinion, because she fears that she is very small. Some women are bringing change b delaying their marriage and continuing their education on the otherhand some women have to drop their college. Some educated class is evolving they have given liberty to women and men they will decide when they want to get married, so they both are happy and independent to start their new married life.

    Anika
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    The current minimum age of marriage is 18 for girls and 21 for boys respectively. I feel that the minimum age should be increased for girls. The current minimum age for which it’s set propagates the idea that women are more mature than men, so it is fine that they’re getting married at the age of 18 which is wrong.
    I feel that it would be better if the minimum age of marriage could be increased. Although it’s just the minimum age, some might get their daughters married because it is legal to get them married at 18.
    Usually, not all women get married at 18. It all depends on the circumstances: finances, choices etc. A person from a poor background would get their 18 year old daughter married because they need money.
    For me, I do not feel that it’s okay to get your daughter married just because they turned 18. Her brain isn’t as developed yet and she has a lot more to learn. Although she is a legal adult by law, she is still young.
    Early marriages lead to lots of problems: abuse, premature child birth etc. It is not a good thing for women to get married this early.
    Women would want to continue their higher education after the age of 18 and will not be able to do that if married.
    I feel that each person has the right to choose when they want to get married. If they want to get married after a certain age, that is their choice. They should have the privilege of choosing their future.

    Tanima
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    I strongly support your statement. Though in the first case, there should be absolute independence for a girl to get Marry.
    Declaring legal age for marriage, doesn’t mean that you are bound to get married after that. But sadly, not every family want to understand that. According to them, this legal age is just a restriction to abide. In this patriarchy, usually men can’t uphold a strong, independent woman who possess intelligence with experience . It’s always preferable that wives should be inexperienced in their life, thus can be controlled.
    Another reason is, our society doesn’t let our girls dream and raise their voice to celebrate their liberty. If we cut the bud when it’s small, there’ll be no tree at all- early marriage is just another form of this tactics.
    Some families, facing poverty or money problem, always lead their son to get educated and go for his dreams. While female gets remarks as burden.
    Even some families make their girls get married in exchange of a sum of money.
    In most of the cases, marriage happens as a custom of exchanging the liabilities of a daughter, as if she is among some goods who needs to be recycled.
    If we atleast increase the legal age as same as boys, we can expect our girls to get the minimum education and experience. And in this era, when men and woman are walking side by side, our legal marriage age discrimination is just another form of contradiction.
    By increasing the legal age, we’re not only stopping a girl to get married before age, but also letting them explore themselves, which is a absolute necessity. When a girl herself will possess enough education to make decisions for herself, it’ll be the perfect age of marriage.

    simran arora
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    In the age of the modern world, the beginning of equity should have begun from this step. Earlier, the condemnation of different ages for women and men was considering the maturity factor. But the fact is that men are as mature as women, and there is no age to justify it.

    However, better late than never. The amendment would be an equality bridge between men and women. It will lead to fewer marriages of women immediately after turning 18 if the legal age turns 21 for both boys and girls. Further, women would be able to complete their education as well and receive a graduate degree. Despite the prohibition of child marriage, many girls get married before turning 18 in rural areas, and no one looks over that. It is a hope that this amendment would bring safe measures for women’s rights.

    It is strange how the right to vote is the same, but the right to marry is not. A clear line of discrimination here indicates that gender equality is still a dream in our country. In recent years, countries like Denmark, Spain, Netherlands, etc., have made marriage reforms. Contrarily, there are other countries where a year gap remains between a boy and a girl marriage, and even some girls get married when they hit puberty.

    A recent petition by Upadhyay at Delhi High Court stated that the age gap between men and women’s legal right to marry, respectively, has no scientific or medical backup. It is only a patriarchal reform to keep girls restrained. He also mentioned that young girls tend to be more submissive than the elder ones. Further, the petition stated that the legal age to marry for girls should also be 21 as 18 is too early to get married. Also, it exploits the basic fundamental rights in the Indian constitution, which are rights of equality (Article 14), protection against discrimination (Article 15), and dignity of life under the convention of all forms of discrimination against women (CEDAW).

    Thereby, I agree that the age of the two should be equal, and there should be no discrimination between the two.

    Dharani Sri
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    Shouldn’t the legal age for marriage be the same for girls and boys both?
    The different legal standards for the age of men and women to marry has been a subject of debate. Before starting the discussion, I would like to share why these minimal ages for marriage has emerged. In ancient days child marriage emerged as a great problem for girls. To abolish this, in 1927 the government passed Consent bill, which invalids the marriage of a girl under the age of 12. and in 1929, the child marriage restraint act set 16 and 18 years as the minimum age of marriage for a girl and boy respectively. Later in 1978 the amendment t of the Sarda Act prescribes the marital age of men and women should be 21 and respectively.
    Now, lets get into the discussion. These laws are made on the basis of the custom and religious practices that are rooted in the patriarchy. These religious practices implement the male domination so as the laws. They indirectly insist that male should be the head and female should respect him because of the age difference. At the age of 18, a girl just completes her schooling and start to think about her career. Is this an age of marriage?
    Although the government did not insist that every woman should get married at the age of 18. Because of the poverty, many parents force their daughters to get married earlier. This drastically affects not only her life but also her future generation. At that age, she not even knows much about the society, then how can able to manage her family.
    at the same time, the marital age of boys is 21. At this age, he is graduated and mostly get employed in a company. When he is married to a woman who is younger than him as well as not much educated. He will dominate her and mostly insult her. In future, if she is willing to go for a work, he won’t allow her. His ego won’t accept that.
    At last, I end up by saying that the marital age should be same. Woman is equal to man in all sakes of the life. This should be the same even at the minimum age of marriage.

    Gayatri Somvanshi
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    Yes . According to me, yes there needs to be an equal age limit for boys and girls to marry. In Fact I would say the Ideal age limit should be at least 24-25 for marrying. The reason is at least both of them would be financially independent and educated and matured by that age.
    I don’t really know the logic behind why the girls ‘ age limit is smaller than the boy’s age limit by 3 years. Why can’t the limit be the same? We all know how because of this girls are deprived from their rights of education.
    There are many girls who want to educate themselves and have many dreams but they are forced to marry at a young age. In my view honestly 18 year is not an adult age. I feel that people are still immature as the age of 18. We are still in the age where we are stuck between being a girl and a woman. So why should we put them into the deep abyss of this scenario just for society? We really need to understand that education is a basic need as well as the rights of a woman. There is no one to decide when a woman should marry.
    Please let the woman decide when she wants to marry . Let her accomplish what she wants and don’t treat her as a burden. Make her able to stand on her own feet as this world is really uncertain.
    We all have seen many drawbacks of how woman is molested and domestically abused and she can’t even do anything as she don’t have any education to rely on herself and imagine how an 18year old would survive under this condition and how her emotional and mental health will deteriorate .So we should really set the equality of ages and i feel increase this limit to avoid these early marriages.

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