Government with its legislation put a building block for a a
constructive,efficacious and beneficial change in a society. The Union cabinet
has approved major reform of increasing the legal marriage age from 18 to 21 for
girls same as men.
What does this mean for India's 600 million women? Should we celebrate it then ?
Yes we should, this move is a victory for women empowerment and harbinger of
Early marriages are not a good idea, families in India wait for their daughter
to turn 18 when she does she is married off. No education,no financial
independence, no experience of outside world she is pushed into a relationship
which she may or may not want. And with early marriages comes early pregnancy
and associated health risks leading to
physical, psychological, mental deterioration.
At such embryonic age she is not equipped to deal with all of these problems and
above all how state can let her deal with such horrors.
Arguments put forth against raising legal marriage talks about negligible
changes that these three years can make in girls life, such contestations are
fully flawed whereas these three years can make her complete her graduation
paving way for jobs and getting eligible for so many exams. And education in
itself is powerful tool to fight many challenges in life along with holistic
development. Ensuing this, financial independence will empower her to reject men
who will demand dowry, who will perpetrate violence on her. This flies in the
face of people who think and consider women as burden (paraya dhan).
Raising legal marriage age is not unidimensional, it will help in lowering
maternal mortality rate and infant mortality rate as well as improvement of
nutritional level and sex ratio at birth as this would promote possibilities of
responsible parenthood for both father and mother making them more capable of
taking better decisions for themselves and their children.
Better psychological, physical, mental development can lead to increase in
productivity of a person. It can also abate cases of domestic violence by way
of of proper development of cognitive skills, maturity level and education. Less
cases of female foeticide as educated and mature women can take decision for
herself and her pregnancy rather than her in laws forcing their decision on her.
Most importantly financial independence and there is no substitute for
So raising legal marriage age is multifarious in empowering women.This reform is
to put a setback on stereotypical and patriarchal thinking that men and women
are not equal. Increasing legal marriage age is a dominant strategy for social
good and financially empowering women and bringing equality in the society.
Women don't need to find their voice they already have it instead it is a
society that need to be urged to listen hence everyone should welcome this
progressive and pragmatic reform.