India approves increase in age for marriage of girls

Photo: AFP

In India, the age of marriage for girls, like boys, has been raised to 21 years.

According to Indian News Agency, Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s cabinet in a meeting on Wednesday, December 15 approved amendments to the Child Marriage Act 2006, Special Marriage Act and Hindu Marriage Act 1955.

In India, 18-year-old girls are currently legally allowed to marry.

In order to increase the minimum age for marriage of girls, Niti Ayog, a social and economic planning body, had formed a task force which submitted its report to the government in December 2020.

The report also included recommendations on a number of issues, including maternal age, maternal mortality rate, and improved nutritional status.

Social activist Jaya Jaitley, who is chairing the task force, clarified that the recommendations made to increase the age of marriage for girls have nothing to do with population control.

He said that the recent data released by the National Family Health Survey had already shown that the overall birth rate in India was declining and the population was under control. The main objective of this recommendation was to empower women.

In addition, the committee further recommended that sex education be formally included in the school curriculum.

The committee also recommended vocational courses for women, skills and business training, and ways to improve their livelihoods.


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