Personal laws governing marriage and other personal practices for communities prescribe certain criteria for marriage, including the age of the bride and groom. For example, section 5(iii) of the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955 sets a minimum age of 18 years for the bride and 21 years for the groom. This applies to Christians under the Indian Christian Marriage Act of 1872 and the Special Marriage Act. A study conducted in India by the International Institute of Population Sciences and Macro International in 2005 and 2006 showed high fertility, poor fertility control and poor fertility outcomes in child marriage. 90.8% of young married women reported not using contraception before the birth of their first child. 23.9% reported having a child in the first year of marriage. 17.3% reported having three or more children during the marriage. 23% reported a new rapid birth and 15.2% reported an unwanted pregnancy. 15.3% reported an abortion (stillbirth, miscarriage or abortion).  Birth rates are higher in slums than in urban areas.  In addition, inequality in the age of marriage has a more detrimental effect on girls. Girls and boys have two years after the age of marriage to refuse their minor marriage under the PCMA, 2006, which for a girl is only until the age of 20, but for a boy it is until he reaches 23 years. At 19 or 20, a girl is at an age young enough to have the ability or means to annul the marriage.
The Committee should examine the feasibility of raising the age of marriage and its impact on the health of women and children, as well as improving women`s access to education. The committee should also recommend a timetable within which the government could introduce the implementation of the policy, as well as the changes that would have to be made to existing laws for this to happen. Young girls in child marriage are more likely to experience domestic violence in their marriage than older women. A study conducted in India by the International Center for Research on Women showed that girls married 18 years ago are twice as likely to be beaten, beaten or threatened by their husbands and three times more likely to experience sexual violence.  Child brides often experience symptoms of sexual abuse and post-traumatic stress.  The decision to raise the age was made at a cabinet meeting on Wednesday, according to reports. Currently, the minimum age of marriage is 21 for men and 18 for women. But if we think about equality and non-discrimination, then another amendment is non-negotiable and of very high priority, namely the age of sexual agreement. Currently, boys in absconding cases are prosecuted for repeated rape of the underage woman, which is a serious crime that can be punished by at least 20 years under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. On the other hand, in an arranged marriage, in the rare cases where the parents are prosecuted, the maximum penalty is two years. This inequality replaces honour killings with the rule of law. This is abhorrent, and the age of consent must be lowered immediately.
The introduction of the law for consensual, non-exploitative and non-compulsive relationships between peers is a big mistake that needs to be corrected. The personal laws of different religions dealing with marriage have their own norms, which often reflect customs. In addition, it is often the lack of educational opportunities that leads parents to marry their daughters at a young age. Keeping girls in school, especially in secondary school, is a key strategy to reduce child marriage, according to the World Bank. As for the issue of girls` rejection of marriage, I believe it should be four years for girls, not two. Child and women`s rights activists, as well as experts in demographic and family planning, have not advocated raising the age of marriage for women, as such legislation would lead a large part of the population to illegal marriages. The Union`s cabinet approved the proposal at its meeting on Wednesday and the government plans to introduce the bill — which will put the minimum age of marriage for women on an equal footing with that of men — during the current winter session in parliament, the people quoted above said. There is also a provision prohibiting minor marriage, which allows social workers to negotiate with affected families and support the district administration, child protection authorities and the police. They usually do not use the law to initiate formal prosecutions because the implications at the village level are very serious for those who interfere. We saw it with Bhanwari Devi, who was raped for stopping child marriage.
And even postcard writer Mitharwal admits that his call to raise the minimum age to 21 may not lead to real change. In addition to the revision of the law she supports, she says the government needs to hold large-scale awareness programs to explain to parents why it`s important to delay marriage by a few years so their daughter can study. The Special Marriage Act 1954 and the Child Marriage Prohibition Act 2006 also stipulate that the minimum age of marriage for women and men is 18 and 21 years respectively. For the new age of marriage to be implemented, these laws should be amended. However, changes in Muslim law could raise important legal issues. Read also| The number of child marriages is 765 million: UNICEF A valuable provision of the PCMA is that it allows the minor to refuse or have the marriage annulled up to two years after reaching the age of majority. This allows girls fleeing with their partners to demand that their marriage be protected. This right should never be taken away. The definition of child marriage was recently updated by India with its Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006, which applies to all Indians except the state of Jammu and Kashmir and the Renewers of the Union Territory of Pondicherry. For Muslims in India, the definition and regulations of child marriage based on Sharia and Nikah have been claimed by some as a personal legal entity, but have ruled by various courts that they also apply to Muslims.
  For all others, the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act 2006 defines « child marriage » as a marriage or marriage that is about to be solemnized, for which one of the parties is a child; and the child for the purposes of marriage is defined on the basis of the sex of the person – if a man, he is 21 years old, and if a woman, 18 years old.  « Girls will be seen as a heavier burden [because of the extra years they are supported before marriage]. Parents will say, « Why did we have to give birth to girls! » one participant noted. According to a UNICEF report published in 2005-06, the rate of child marriage in India was estimated at around 47%. That number fell to 27 percent in 2015-16, according to a new UNICEF report. UNICEF also reported that child marriage is prevalent in three Indian states (Rajasthan, Bihar and West Bengal) and that there is a 40% prevalence of child marriage in these states.  In his Independence Day speech, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that the government would soon make a decision on the age of marriage for women. Previously, a working group had been formed to consider raising the age of marriage from 18 to 21. Madhu Mehra (Executive Director of Partners for Law in Development India and Co-Founder of the National Coalition for Advocacy for Adolescent Concerns) and Jayna Kothari (Executive Director of the Centre for Law and Policy Research and Senior Counsel at the Supreme Court) will discuss the topic in a conversation moderated by Jagriti Chandra. Edited excerpts: Legal support, she says, can help girls convince their parents to let them pursue higher education and put them on the path to financial independence. « If you [a young woman] are atrophied or anemic [at 18], then you`ll be just as stunted or anemic at age 21, » John says, adding that without nutritional and health interventions for women who are at greater health risk, raising the age of marriage by a few years would change very little. .