The legal age of marriage for women in India is likely to be revised from 18-years of age to 21-years of age as the government has formed a high-level committee to go into the matter and submit recommendations. The government came to such a conclusion by taking care of women’s health. But an increase in the age of marriage has its own merits and demerits.
Let’s talk about the good side first. Women would have more time to think about their future in the profession or their career as there would be less pressure from the family and society for her marriage. Secondly, there would be a decline in the number of forced marriages at a young age. Hence, no pregnancies at the age when the woman might not be ready for taking care of a family all by herself.
As the coin has two sides, take a look at the other side of this rule is implemented. The girls who want to marry on their own choice but against their parent’s wish will have a hard time. Earlier a girl aged a minimum 18-years was allowed to marry a person of her choice by legal methods even if there was a restriction from the family or society. The law was in support of the couple. But if the government implements the new law, such couples would not be allowed for marriages and their respective families might get them married to their choices.
This is a great decision when keeping in view the physical and mental health of women but in a country like India where inter-faith and inter-caste marriages are considered to be a taboo or a crime for many, increasing the marriage age for women would just add a threat to the young couples who want to start living a life of their own but are suppressed by their social norms and the society.