Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Marriage age debate rages: How to correct the problem?

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The Centre’s decision to raise the minimum age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 has met with a backlash from several political quarters. Ahead of the bill being proposed in the Parliament during the ongoing winter session, a debate has kicked off on the marriageable age of women. All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) President and Lok Sabha MP Asauddin Owaisi on Friday took to Twitter to slam the Centre for the decision and said that both men and women should be allowed to legally marry at the age of 18.

Condemning the move, the AIMIM Chief said that the Modi government has decided to increase the age of marriage for women to 21. Terming it ‘typical paternalism’, he questioned that if 18 year old men and women can sign contracts, start businesses, choose Prime Ministers and elect MPs and MLAs, can consent to sexual relationships and live-in partnerships, but not marry and choose their life partners?.

Emphasising that more than the legal age of marriage, it is improved education and better economic prospects for youngsters that impacts when they marry, he went ahead to slam the Central government and question what has it done to improve the education for girls.

Meanwhile, SP leader Shafiqur Rahman and Jharkhand minister Hafizul Hassan went ahead to trigger criticism for their frivolous comments on the move. Shafiqur Rahman questioned the central’s government’s move and said that marrying off daughters by 18 would be a relief for parents. Questioning why the government wants to make women independent, he stated that the atmosphere of the country is bad and it is their responsibility to take care of daughters so that nothing wrong happens to them. Jharkhand minister Hafizul Hassan, on the other hand, commented that going by the growth these days, it should be decreased to 16. If not, then it should remain at 18.

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