DEBATE AROUND MINIMUM AGE OF MARRIAGE FOR WOMEN

Since PM NARENDRA MODI addressed the nation on INDEPENDENCE DAY, 2020 about raising the legal age for marriage of women in India, there has been an ongoing debate. The controversy is for what should be done and what should be done the public suggests for the same.


We live in a country that sees girls as the embodiments of Goodness of wealth, knowledge, and destruction; ironically, the same society sees the same girl as a burden, responsibility, and liability.


Is an 18-year-old girl too young to marry? An appointed government panel is studying the question, PM Modi said recently.
Well, we can see that a minimum age given as a “MANDATORY AGE” by most of the population. The given period only means that there could be criminal prosecution under the child marriage law below that age.


Getting eligible for marriage at the age of 18 does not mean that as soon as the girl turns 18, you bound her in a bond and pressurize her under responsibilities, which she is not ready to take or carry.
Many say that girls mature earlier than boys. So they should have a lower age of marriage, but this is a very old concept now.
It is the 21st century; if you say that men and women are equal, then don’t discriminate by something that is the most fundamental part of life.

village women
Marriage during childhood is a curse


Marriage is not something that is done to gain social or economic status.
Many experts who favor raising the marriage age for girls from 18 to 21 years- the same as for boys- say it will have many social and economic benefits, including reducing malnutrition and maternal mortality.

But others say that marrying before 18 is more about poverty, lack of access to education, and inability to find jobs rather than social pressures and community practices.

We can say that there is a problem with society’s mentality – taking a girl child as a burden from the start and finding all means and ways to get rid of that burden.
No doubt that better education and job opportunities will reduce early marriage.


Every fourth woman in India is married by the age of 18.
Further, on if we see there are other setbacks too if a girl’s marriage occurs at a young age :

BAD FOR THE WOMEN AND CHILD:

A WHO survey across 29 countries, including India, shows early childbearing increases the risk of death during pregnancy and labor. Girls under 18 years are at greater risk during childbirth than those aged 20-22 years.
Also, girls married early are twice as likely to be undernourished as those married 25 years and above.
· India has a higher maternal mortality rate than any of its BRICS counterparts. It does better than Bangladesh and Nepal but worse than Pakistan and Sri Lanka
· Early childbearing also raises risks for the child. A study found that becoming a mother before 19 has a 20-30% higher risk of preterm and low-weight birth than at 20-24 years. Children of teenage mothers are more likely to die in infancy.

WORKING WOMEN MEANS MORE WEALTH:

Women trapped early in-home and fulfilling responsibilities can’t go out to work, which is not just a personal but also a national loss. A 2018 report by the McKinsey Global Institute said India’s GDP would be $770 billion higher by 2025 if women got the same opportunities to work as men. According to Oxfam, unpaid work by Indian women is worth 3.1% of the GDP.

LARGE FAMILY SIZE
INCREASE IN DOMESTIC VIOLENCE.
DECLINE IN PHYSICAL AND MENTAL HEALTH FOR WOMEN
TRAFFICKING AND SALES OF GIRLS BECOMES EASIER.

THE COUPLE REMAINS IMMATURE TO COPE UP WITH MARRIAGE (fail to understand the value of marriage.)
No doubt, early marriage is a lifetime of disadvantage and deprivation, especially for girls.
It’s high time now that we realize that raising the age to 21 is necessary for the foundation of a peaceful, prosperous, and sustainable country.
Education and awareness have undoubtedly played a key to empowerment and have reduced the percentage of women getting married at an early age, but still, we have a lot reduced.
SHE IS NEITHER A BURDEN NOR A LIABILITY,
SHE IS JUST A HUMAN WHO WISHES TO ACHIEVE HER DREAMS!
AND LIVE A LIFE WHAT SHE DECIDES FOR HERSELF AS AN INDIVIDUAL!

Let’s hope the government panel in charge of the issue makes a wise decision. And the minimum age of a girl for marriage should raise to 21 years.

PENNED BY MEENAL JAIN.

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Equality and equity

Meaning of Equality and Equity:

According to some dictionaries, equality somewhat means the situation in which everyone has the same rights and advantages, whereas equity is the quality of being fair and impartial.
Nowadays, everyone craves equality rather than equity.
Equality means sameness, and equity means fairness.
The inequality we provide everyone with the same opportunities and inequity offers everyone access to the same options.
Equality works when everyone starts from the same place, which means equity must stand before equality.

Examples:

For example, everyone stands on the same starting point during a race to reach the same endpoint. Who will win that depends on who comes first from the start to end, not someone who joins the race after the mid point?
Your Success depends on your work. I don’t think our dignity should allow us to possess equality just for the sake of providing someone with access to opportunities and some with none.


For example— in India, a national level entrance medical test NEET is conducted to get category reservations. To Achieve Success, you need more hard work if you belong to a general category. In contrast, others can get it for a relatively lower score.

How can you expect the one who is getting a college at a much lower rank and the one who has done a lot to get this who would be a better doctor whereas, in the exam for chartered accountancy, the CA exam? There is no such reservation. You have to work for what you want to achieve.

Equality


Equality and equity go hand in hand. We have several misconceptions regarding them, even in our families. Parents provide things to their babies to be impartial so that their children don’t think that. Parents should teach their children it isn’t partiality when one gets more it’s about their needs their is a bit different. The needy one should get more of it, not the one who is already full. Still, to ensure equality, this happens in our democracy; also rich get access to more than those who are not, which I don’t think should prevail.


Equality is fundamental, but unless equity is possessed, it doesn’t mean anything.
And equity will only be possessed when we teach ourselves about our needs.

Similarly, we choose our needs more than just luxuries. Everyone wants to live a better life, but earning to pass on to the next generations doesn’t mean anything. If one is capable, they will get it by themselves, no need to teach how to beg for and take advantage of your state because you stop someone from getting what they deserve. You want yourself to deserve that.

Written by Prachi Chand.

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MENTAL HEALTH ISSUE; NOT A SOCIAL STIGMA

Just a few days before I watched a dialogue from a Korean TV series named “Record of the Youth” on
Netflix which hit me like a truck.
It said, and I quote, “I think it’s abusive, to tell someone who’s hurting to be strong.”
It felt weird yet not untrue to some extent. As per the survey conducted by the Suicide Prevention in India
Foundation (SPIF) it was found that nearly 40 per cent of the total 1685 participants suffered from common mental health disorders, such as anxiety and depression, due to pandemic.


The issue I am writing about isn’t related to mental health, but more focused on the surroundings, the societal response towards those who suffer.

Mental issue
Photo by Mental Health America (MHA) on Pexels.com

It is from my personal experience that whenever a person whether it be male or female, talks about their mental problem a typical reaction of the general populace
(including friends, family and other close members) is not to offer comfort or solace. Instead, they are advised to be healthy.
‘Everything will be alright if you hold on.’
Close friends often speak a typical sentence.
Is this the proper behaviour that the person suffering expects from them?
He/she themself knows better than anyone that they need to be healthy, they need to hold on. But if
they keep hearing people close to them repeating it, it might feel more hurting. It might feel like
rubbing salt on their wounds. This type of support does more harm than goodwill.
What I believe is a person in distress, especially one that is mental needs only one type of person, and that is someone who would listen to them without giving their own opinion, without judging them.

A good listener is all they need because there are already tons of thoughts in their mind. Their mind is in chaos, a piece of mess which they are trying to solve bit by bit. By telling them to be healthy, you are
telling them to forfeit the right to feel pain, the right to feel hurt, the right to feel my emotions and more
importantly the right to know themself. Agreed that the society is harsh, the world is cruel, but in this
cruel world if I as a person am required to live like this then wouldn’t it be more hurting, wouldn’t it
make the world a more harsh place to live.
But this is just from my perspective. After all, others cannot solve my problems, they cannot free me from
my suffering, but still, they can genuinely listen to it. At least try to comfort me a bit, by saying nothing just by
simply telling me.
‘It’s okay.’
After all, I am only a Human.

Written by -Arya

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Nobel Prize 2020: Uniquely Significant for Social Welfare, Women Empowerment, and Gender Equality

One of the most esteemed awards given for intellectual achievements in the world is nothing but the Nobel Prize, which is awarded annually from a fund granted for the purpose by the Swedish inventor and industrialist Alfred Nobel.

Every year, this prestigious award is announced in Physics, Chemistry, Medicine, Literature, Economics, and the distinguished service to humanity, commonly known as the Nobel Peace Prize.

Physiology/ Medicine: This year, the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to American medical researchers and virologists – Harvey J Alter and Charles M Rice and British scientist Michael Houghton to discover Hepatitis C Virus.

And this discovery has revealed the unknown causes of Chronic Hepatitis. As a result of this discovery, highly sensitive blood tests for the virus and new medicines are available now. Now, we are hopeful that one day this infectious disease would be eradicated.

Physics: The Nobel Prize winners of 2020 for Physics are three astrophysicists – Roger Penrose from the UK, Reinhard Genzel from Germany, and Andrea Mia Ghez from the USA.

One half of the prize has been given to Roger Penrose to discover that a black hole formation is a robust prediction of the general theory of relativity.

And the other half of the prize has been given to Reinhard Genzel and Andrea Mia Ghez to discover a supermassive black hole at the center of the Milky way galaxy.

Andrea Mia Ghez is the fourth woman to receive the Nobel Prize for Physics.

Chemistry: Researchers Emmanuelle Charpentier of France and Jennifer Anne Doudna of the USA have been awarded the 2020 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing CRISPR/Cas9 genetic scissors, which is one of the sharpest tools of gene technology and will help to improve cancer therapies.

And the most important and exciting thing about the Nobel Prize for Chemistry, 2020, is that a women team has been awarded a Nobel Science Prize for the first time.

Peace: This year, the Nobel Peace Prize has been awarded to the World Food Programme or WFP (which is an agency of United Nations) for their remarkable efforts to combat hunger, bettering conditions for peace in conflict-affected areas, and preventing the use of hunger as a weapon of war and conflict. And WEP’s efforts have made a remarkable instance to eradicate hunger, which is one of the UN’s missions.

Economic Sciences: The Nobel Prize winners for Economic Sciences, 2020, are none other than the American economist’s Paul Milgrom and Robert Wilson for their work on commercial auctions, i.e., improvement of the auction theory and invention of new auction formats for the auctioning of many interrelated objects.

Literature: The Nobel Prize in Literature 2020 has been awarded to the USA poet Louise Glück ‘for her unmistakable voice that with austere beauty makes individual existence universal.’

Her poetry focuses on the unfortunate realities of being human, dealing with themes such as death, childhood, and family life.

Louis Glück is the fourth woman to win the Nobel Prize for Literature and the sixteenth woman Nobel Laureate.

The Nobel Prize comes with a medal and One Million Swedish Crowns, but this year the prize money has increased to Ten Million Swedish Crowns.

Traditionally, in the earlier years, the coveted prize winners were invited to the Swedish capital Stockholm for talks and the award ceremony. Still, this year the ‘Nobel Banquet’ has been canceled for the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic situation. The award winners will be honored, especially in their own countries, by the Nobel Committee.

And finally, it is imperative to discuss the significance of The Nobel Prize, 2020, on the ground of not only social welfare but also on the field of Women Empowerment.
Earlier, women were not allowed to take science subjects as the society thought they could not do well in Science. So, for many, many years, the science subjects were beyond the women learners’ reach.

But, this year’s Nobel Prize Ceremony and the four women Nobel Laureates have shown us that a woman can shine in the field of Science as well as in the field of Literature.

So, which matters is not the gender rather the effort and the skills to shine in any field.

And so, we must not be gender-biased in any case, and obviously, in the case of education; instead, we must give every learner equal opportunity for humanity’s welfare.

Moreover, this year’s Nobel Prize will inspire every woman, every person, and also the upcoming generations to achieve their utmost achievements through their skills.

Written by Dyuti Banerjee.

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Redefining Motherhood

A daughter. A sister. A Wife. A mother. These are the roles women are identified within our societies. She has always been discouraged from pursuing her own identity as a woman. In the past, every woman struggled with the fundamental right to educate herself.

Now in the 21st century, we can see an increase in the percentage of educated women, but are they still allowed to be determined to pursue a career? Is education merely provided to them to increase their market value when it’s time to auction them during the wedding? Can we deny that even today, many families think that if you are not a mother or a wife, you are not fulfilling a woman’s role? For them, it’s the only role that counts. These are some questions which plague society but are hardly recognized even in the age of modernization.
After having a taste of the myriad opportunities awaiting them in their professional lives, women are expected to settle down and start a family. While having a family can be equally crucial for a woman, she must not be compelled to give up her career.

Even after marriage, the choice of reproduction is not of the woman’s but is a domestic compulsion imposed on her in many cases. Throughout her life, she has fulfilled various roles, then why is she not seen capable enough to juggle the responsibilities of a mother and a working woman together. When a woman becomes a mother, her main priority would always be her child, but to assume that there can’t be a shift in her priorities is wrong on our part as a society. When a woman decides to join back and pursue her career again, she might already be facing the dilemma and inner guilt that she is a selfish and neglecting mother. Also, as a society, we fail to understand that parenting is a shared responsibility rather than being the mother’s sole duty. If a man can return to work while being a father, why can a woman, having taken the required biologically- prescribed sabbatical, not be allowed to resume work again.

Being a mother is maddening and terrifying at times, yet it is also glorious and beautiful. Parents are the first potential powerful role model for their children. A child is growing up learning that he/she can achieve anything that they want if he/she is willing to work for it. They are taught to have faith in themselves and dream of a successful life. They are trained to share responsibilities in the family and break the gender stereotypes. However, it does not imply that a woman starts to disregard her family when she rejoins work. As a man can be a doting father, loving husband, and a responsible person in business, so can a woman be a loving mother and wife while simultaneously being an accountable businesswoman.

In any case, women, despite facing many biases, have still taken over the professional world. However, even here, they are subjected to many prejudices. The foremost challenge faced is to be perfect all the time. Any mistake on her part would immediately imply that she is better as a caretaker of her family only. Further, a woman is subjected to covert sexism where no matter how hardworking they might be, they are always considered inferior to the male co-workers.


Sarojini Naidu, Shakuntala Devi, Lakshmi Sanghal, Mary Kom, Rani Lakshmi Bai, Irom Chanu, Sania Mirza, Indira Nooyi, Madhuri Kanitkar, and Indira Gandhi are a few examples of women who have created harmony between their career and personal life. History stands as a testimony to the resilience and power embedded in women to stand against prevailing societal orders and stand for themselves in the face of discriminatory treatment meted out. Women belonging to various societal ranks have set a precedent for the justified usage of power and stand against discrimination faced by any identity in society. A working woman. A mother. A wife. A sister. A daughter. Women are capable of juggling all these responsibilities even when the company doesn’t expect her to. Despite being considered spineless and docile, women have tirelessly proven to be the backbone of society through their tenacity and steadfastness.

Written by Khushi Rungta.

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