GS paper 2
syllabus: Indian Society; Social Justice; Issues Concerning Women; Governance
direction: This article says:child marriage problem”. You can write down the relevant points.
environment: This is an explanatory article on Hinduism. The UNFPA-UNICEF Global Program to End Child Marriage Program Team is visiting India to witness state interventions that have helped reduce the prevalence of child marriage.
child marriage In India, it is defined as a solemn marriage between two persons where the woman is under the age of 18 or the man is under the age of 21.
Status of Child Marriage in India
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), India is home Has the highest number of child brides explain – in the world one-third of the world’s total.
- but there was Declining incidence of child marriage nationally (from 54% in 1992-93 to about 23% (2020-21)) And the pace of change remains slow in nearly every state, especially for girls in the 15- to 18-year-old age group.
- pandemic Child marriage has increased.
- child marriage is rural area (48%) urban area (29%).
- Eight states have high rates of child marriage Worse than the national average – West Bengal, Bihar and Tripura.
- state Large population of poor tribes Child marriage rate is high.
Why child marriage is so prevalent in India
- Lack of education:- A major determinant of age at marriage is educational attainment. About 45% of uneducated women According to NFHS-4, 40% of those with primary education are married before the age of 18.
- Patriarchal Attitude: Child marriage is often viewed as a defense against premarital sex, shifting the duty of protecting girls from sexual violence and harassment from fathers to husbands.
- Reduced sex ratio: – In northern India, especially in rural Rajasthan, declining sex ratios Atsata When a daughter is exchanged for a daughter-in-law, regardless of age
- Ineffective enforcement of law: Ineffective implementation of laws such as the PCMA of 2006, along with a lack of appropriate age documentation and a general lack of protection for children’s human rights, is also a major obstacle to ending child marriage. increase.
- Economics of Marriage – Girls are often seen as: Liabilities with limited economic roleIn poor communities, marrying off a daughter means one less thing to talk about.
- cultural practice – The practice of child marriage in North India is closely associated with religious observances such as: Akathige in Rajasthan When mass weddings of children are held in many districts, the administration cannot stop these weddings due to social pressure.
Other determinants of child marriage:
Child Marriage Consequences:
- violating children’s rights
- more results Infant and maternal mortality
- Stunting (NFHS-5: 35.5% prevalence of stunting in children in 2019-21)
Figure: Vicious cycle of child marriage and poverty
Law and policy interventions:
- Child Marriage Prohibition Act 2006
- Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses Act 2012
- centralized schemes like Betty Bachao Betty Padao
- Kanyashree Scheme of West Bengal Provides financial assistance to girls seeking higher education
- Bihar and other states Implementation of the cycle scheme To keep girls safe in school, UP has a plan to encourage girls to go back to school.
Raising the legal age of marriage as a means of curbing child marriage: Recently, Cabinet approves raising the age of marriage for women from 18 to 21If it is realized, both men and women will be of marriageable age.
How Raising Age Helps Curb Child Marriage
- Increased marriage delays women’s responsibilities attached to marriage In many traditional societies, a woman’s age at marriage simultaneously serves as a gateway to new family roles and the possibility of producing offspring. Therefore, increasing marriage age delays this responsibility and gives women opportunities for self-development.
- Ensure gender equality at marriage age – Since the legal age of marriage for men is already 21, raising the minimum age of marriage for women to 21 will ensure gender equality. Different marriage ages encourage the stereotype that a wife must be younger than her husband.
- Ban child marriage and prevent abuse of minors: The law essentially prohibits child marriage and sets a minimum age for marriage to prevent abuse of minors.
- Huge social and economic benefits These include lower maternal mortality rates (MMR), improved nutrition levels, and more opportunities for women to pursue higher education and careers, according to SBI Ecowrap’s research note.
Limitations of measures against child marriage
- Limited Success of Past Legal Actions
- according to NFHS-5 (2019-21), Underage marriage rates remain high, with 23% of women between the ages of 20 and 24 married before the age of 18.
- At the same time, detection of such marriages remains low, with only 785 registered under the law in 2020.
- Law cannot be a shortcut to social reform – Social reform should come through improvements in social indicators such as health, education and awareness of the negative effects of child marriage. At the same time, it motivates girls and parents to marry later.
- For example – we know that the decline in child marriage was not the result of the law penalizing it as more women were educated and employed.
- Laws without broad social support often fail to be implemented Even when their purpose and reason statements are aimed at the greater public good. In traditional societies, the introduction of modern reforms does not always lead to good results and results in rampant illegal activities.
- Potential increase in sexually selective abortions – Raising the legal age of marriage without changing patriarchal social norms could make parents feel even more “burdened” by what they perceive as additional responsibilities for their female children, leading to an increase in gender-selective practices.
- Investing in girls’ education According to NFHS-4, the median age of marriage has increased from 17.2 for women out of school to 22.7 for women who have been in school for 12 years or more.
- Economic and social empowerment of girls– Economic empowerment often gives individuals a greater say in their homes and their future. Girls learn to say no to early marriage and their families don’t see it as a responsibility.
- Targeted social and behavior change communication (SBCC) campaigns – We need to change social norms that exclude girls and boys from marriage decisions.
- Secure registration of marriage – The government will develop mechanisms to ensure that all marriages (including civil, religious and customary unions), births and deaths are compulsorily registered through the system as a means of tracking marriage and marriage age. need to do it.
- Increased social awareness On health, nutrition, regressive social norms and inequalities
- A village without child marriage As in Orissa, where there are now over 12,000 such villages
- 2011 Shivraj Patil Commission Report: Ensuring Child Protection Commissions and Child Marriage Prohibition Officers Do Their Jobs and Activate Community Support Groups
Case Study: Karnataka: Child marriage rate in Karnataka (from 42% in 2005-06 to 21.3% in 2019-20). Notifications have been sent to thousands of child marriage prohibition officers in Karnataka and her 90,000 local Glam Panchayat members have been mentored to spread awareness of child marriage.
The law should not immediately address the issue. We need to understand the core social issues. Girls should have equal opportunities in health, education and life.Bringing more women into the workforce, as in South Korea and Japan, will also help improve the gender imbalance and solve the problem of early marriage.
Q. Please explain why child marriage is so prevalent in India. Would raising the legal age of marriage for girls help alleviate this problem? Debate. (15M)