Government reviewing minimum marriage age for women
The minimum age of marriage for men and women was initially introduced to comabt child marriage
The government has set up a committee to revise the minimum age of marriage, which is currently 18, for girls. Prime Minister Narendra Modi revealed this during his Independence Day address at Red Fort yesterday.
The minimum age of marriage for men and women was initially introduced to comabt child marriage. PM Modi said the Centre will take a decision after the committee submits its report.
The Union Ministry for Women and Child Development, on June 2, had set up a task force to examine the possibility of increasing the age of marriage for women from 18 to 21, says a report in The Indian Express.
This is a measure to lower the Maternal Mortality Ratio (MMR) and improve nutritional levels. There has been a decline in India’s MMR from 130 per 1 lakh live births in 2014-16 to 122 per 1 lakh live births in 2015-17, a decline of 6.2 per cent. With this, the government is now pushing to bring down the rate further. PM Modi said the government is working relentlessly for the improved health of women, said the report.
According to Section 5(iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955, the minimum marriage age for a girl is 18 and for a man, it is 21. The report said child marriages can be declared void at the request of a minor. The Special Marriage Act, 1954 and the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 also prescribe 18 and 21 years as the minimum age of consent for men and women, the report pointed out.