ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Early Age Female Marriage

Exploring Spatial Variations

Analysing the spatial influence of child marriage across, it has been observed that the neighbouring effects matter in variations in child marriage across the districts. Female schooling and urbanisation play significant roles in reducing the incidence of child marriage.

The parents in Indian patriarchal families are reluctant about girl child education and this problem aggravates if the household is under destitute situation. Child marriage is a violation of human rights, more specifically, it violates a girl’s right to health, education, and the opportunity to live a long and healthy life. When the marriage is not forced, young girls are often too immature to give their well-reasoned consent to marriage (Mikhail 2002). Child marriage typically results in early pregnancy with underdeveloped physical growth which normally damages reproductive health severely, and raises the risks of maternal mortality, pregnancy complications, prenatal and neonatal mortality, and low birth weight (UNICEF 2006). Early-age female marriage aggravates domestic and sexual violence. Early pregnancies increase the risk of disease and even death of mother and child (Mahavarka and Mule 2008). The early marriage is not only dangerous for the girls but her newborn too. Infant morta­lity is found to be higher in this type of premature delivery; moreover, young girls are more vulnerable to sexually transmitted diseases (Shannon and Klausner 2018).

The practice of child marriage was first prohibited by the law in India in 1929 through the Child Marriage Restraint Act, 1929 in which the age of marriage was to be 18 for males and 14 for females. This act was amended in 1978 to increase the minimum age to 18 years for females and 21 years for males. To eradicate our deep-rooted sociocultural problem of child marriage, the Government of India enacted the Prevention of the Child Marriage Act in 2006 by replacing the 1929 act. Further, keeping in mind the adverse consequences of early marriage on health, the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021 seeks to increase the minimum age of marriage for females to 21 years.  It was referred to the Standing Committee on Education, Women, Children, Youth, and Sports on 21 December 2021. However, the socio-economic constraints need to be addressed to emancipate the girl child effectively.

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Updated On : 23rd Nov, 2023
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