Proposal To Raise Women’s Legal Age Of Marriage From 18 To 21 Cleared By Union Cabinet

REPRESENTATIVE

The task force observed that a woman must be at least 21 years old at the time of first pregnancy as they submitted the proposal in December.

A year after Prime Minister Narendra Modi had said that the plan to raise the minimum age of marriage for women was under review, the Union Cabinet on Wednesday cleared the proposal.

PM Modi had mentioned the proposal during his Independence Day speech last year. He had said, “This government is constantly concerned about the health of daughters and sisters. To save the daughters from malnutrition, it is necessary that they’re married at the right age”.

Notably, the minimum age of marriage for men is 21 whereas, for women, it is 18. The government is seeking to make a change to this.

It will also have to make changes to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, Special Marriage Act, and the Hindu Marriage Act to bring the plan into action. 

A NITI Aayog task force headed by Jaya Jaitly had backed the proposal. V K Paul, a top government expert, senior officials of the Health Ministry, Ministry of Women and Child Development, Law Ministry were among the members of the task force, which was set up in June last year.

The task force observed that a woman must be at least 21 years old at the time of first pregnancy as they submitted the proposal in December.

It further said that the delay in marriages will have a positive financial, social, and health impact on families, society, and children.

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