Equality is perhaps the most fundamental value that underpins society. It means that men and women should have the same rights and opportunities in life, irrespective of their gender. However, when it comes to marriage, suddenly, this principle gets violated by the existence of a minimum age of marriage for women – 18 years in India. Recently, a proposal to increase the minimum age for marriage for women from 18 to 21 years is currently up for discussion in India. It is a positive move that would bring more equality in society.
Let’s talk about why the government pushed this legislation.
Gender equality is an integral part of our culture and the advancement of modern society. It is the idea whereby all individuals should offer the same rights opportunities and be considered equal in their social, political, economic, and cultural spheres without any discrimination.
For a value change in society.
This may seem too progressive a notion, but this is precisely what society needs to bring about a value change. The patriarchal society has been ruling for so long, but now it is time to let go of those norms and bring a difference for future generations.
To decrease the maternal mortality rate.
Young pregnancies can lead to many health issues for women. In this situation, young women can face anemia, high blood pressure, or even death. However, after turning 21, this issue doesn’t prevail as much as getting pregnant at 18 or before. So, with this legislation, there can be a decrease in the maternal mortality rate.
No illegal marriages.
Many women are forced into marriages in India. This happens because the girls who are just 14 or 15 are married off as they were 18. But if the age is increased to 21, this will be less likely to happen.
Increases the educational rate
Girls who get married at a young age are often seen dropping out of school. Even if they had been continuing studies, they would drop out of their education once they get pregnant. But, with increasing the legal marital age, we can see some increase in the educational rate.
Women become aware of their rights.
Everyone makes some bad decisions when they are young. And adolescence is not an age when anyone can be mature enough to take care of a family and themselves. But, by increasing the legal age of marriage, women can decide what’s best for them.
It helps them make a living of their own.
Being independent and self-sufficient is a significant aspect of anyone’s life. With no restrictions or forced marriage, women will be able to take good education opportunities. With this, it becomes easy and more approachable to find better jobs and take charge of their financial situation.
Better mental health.
Marriage is such an important decision in life. But if such a decision was forced on the person, it is possible that they won’t be able to make peace with it. So it is also a reason why the government proposed a change in this legislation.
Women have been fighting for their empowerment for over 50 years. But, as much as everything will change, it’s still a fact that Men dominate Indian society. So, this law will do so much and will empower women.
At last, changing the age of matrimony might not be able to curb all the issues. But it is still a very great start to something that can lead to better lifestyles and a future for all.
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