Union Cabinet passes proposal to raise the legal age for marriage of women to 21 years

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Union Cabinet passes proposal to raise the legal age for marriage of women to 21 years

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The Union Cabinet on Wednesday passed the proposal to raise the legal age of marriage for women to 21 years. At present, the minimum age of marriage for men is 21 years and for women is 18 years. The plan was announced by Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his Independence Day address of 2020.

 

The government will introduce an amendment to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, and will also bring amendments to the Special Marriage Act, 1954, and the Hindu Marriage Act, 1955.

 

The clearance for the proposal is based on the report submitted to NITI Aayog by a task force headed by Jaya Jaitly. The task force was created by the center to examine the “matters pertaining to the age of motherhood, imperatives of lowering MMR (Maternal Mortality Rate), improvement of nutritional levels and related issues”.

 

The task force was created in June 2020 and gave its report in December 2020. The task force had said that the minimum age of women at the time of giving birth to their first child should be 21 years.

The task force has also advised the government to chalk out a comprehensive public awareness campaign aimed at encouraging social acceptance of the decision. Significantly, the committee also recommended that sex education be formalized and introduced in the school curriculum.

 

Besides this, training of women in polytechnic institutes, skills and business training, and livelihood enhancement have also been recommended to ensure that an increase in the legal age of marriage can be implemented.

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