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Government of India mulls over changing legal age for marriage in women

The legal age of marriage has been a point of debate for long. In over 140 countries, the legal age for men and women is 18. In India, as of now, the legal age for women is 18 whereas 21 for men. Anaemia and malnutrition are major issues in underage mothers and also relate to the marriages taking place in the 16-18 age group.

A task force headed by social activist Jaya Jaitley was set up in June, abiding by the announcement made by the Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman in the union budget for 2020-2021 where she mentioned that the legal age to marry for a women has increased from 15 to 18 in 1978 by the Sharda act 1929. “ As India progresses further, opportunities open up for women to pursue their higher education and career.There are imperatives of lowering maternal mortality ratio (MMR) as well as improvement of nutrition levels. So, taking up this discussion of a girl entering motherhood is very crucial.” mentioned Nirmala Sitharaman.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi hinted about this discussion in a speech and mentioned that as soon the above mentioned committee studies the issue and produces the report, the question of what the right age for a girl to get married will be thoroughly contemplated by the government in order to end malnutrition among young mothers in the country.

Reporter: Jaya Anisika S

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