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All rights reserved. The smells and colors—bold yellow turmeric smeared on hands and faces, a strip of red powdered vermillion applied to the hairline—offer the first clues that a wedding is about to happen or has just happened. Muskaan's relatives help her dress for the wedding. Her husband, Raju, whose name has been changed here for privacy reasons, is seven years her senior.

SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: In India, young women sent into marriages far from home

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SEE VIDEO BY TOPIC: Foreign Girl Fall in Love With Indian Boy and Come To India For Marriage - Special Story

End child marriage

Visit our new interactive Atlas! Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that girls are somehow inferior to boys. In India, child marriage is also driven by:. India has committed to eliminate child, early and forced marriage by in line with target 5. The government did not provide an update on progress towards this target during its Voluntary National Review at the High Level Political Forum.

India acceded to the Convention on the Rights of the Child in , which sets a minimum age of marriage of 18, and ratified the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women CEDAW in , which obligates states to ensure free and full consent to marriage. As part of its commitment, India will ensure access to legal remedies for child brides and establish a uniform minimum legal age of marriage of During its Universal Periodic Review , India agreed to consider recommendations to improve enforcement of legal provisions against child marriage.

In the CEDAW Committee raised concerns about high school dropout rates among young girls in India, making them particularly vulnerable to child marriage. A National Action Plan to prevent child marriages was drafted by the Ministry of Women and Child Development in , but has not yet been finalised.

Key components include law enforcement, changing mind-sets and social norms, empowering adolescents, quality education and sharing knowledge. However due to its decentralised governance structure, in recent years there has been greater movement at the state level in terms of the development of state-level action plans. According to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act the minimum legal age of marriage in India is 18 years with no exceptions.

There have been a number of recent court cases where petitioners have argued that the provisions of the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, do not apply to Muslims as marriages between Muslims are governed by Muslim Personal Law under the Muslim Personal Law Shariat Application Act, This interpretation of the application of marriage laws has been consistently rejected by the Indian judiciary.

Dasra, Marry me later: preventing child marriage and early pregnancy in India , , accessed June View their profile. What's the child marriage rate? How big of an issue is child marriage? Are there country-specific drivers of child marriage in this country? In India, child marriage is also driven by: Poverty: Child marriage is more common among poorer households , with many families marrying off their daughters to reduce their perceived economic burden.

Girls are often married off at a younger age because less dowry is expected for younger brides. The labour of young brides is central to some rural economies. The practice of atta satta sees two extended families exchange girls through marriage so neither family is worse off in terms of household labour.

Traditional customs: Customary laws based on religion are a major barrier in ending child marriage in India. Social pressure to marry at puberty can be enormous within certain castes. Gender norms: There is generally a lower value attached to daughters, and girls are expected to be adaptable, docile, hardworking and talented wives. Child marriages are sometimes used to control female sexuality , sanctify sex and ensure reproduction.

There is a high premium placed on virginity , and as such it is sometimes considered more punya holy to marry off younger girls. Fathers sometimes lose credibility within communities if their daughters have sex or get married without their consent.

Violence against girls: Some girls are married off due to fear of kharab mahaul — the corrupted external environment — and reports of the rape of women in public spaces. However, a study found that child brides in India are at greater risk of sexual and physical violence within their marital home.

What has this country committed to? What is the government doing to address this at the national level? What is the minimum legal framework around marriage?

Panel to review age of marriage for women

While it is illegal for a girl to be married before the age of 18 around 27 percent of girls in India are married before their eighteenth birthday. Ananye Krishna argues why a legal change, currently held up in Parliament, is only part of the answer to bringing this number down and ensuring girls in India are able to exercise their rights laid out in the Constitution. Such a violation of the law, on such a large scale, is of grave importance for the welfare of women and should be much higher on the political agenda.

Krishnan Parameswara. Age at marriage in a nineteenth century Indian parish. Nuptiality has been and still is a topic of interest to population scientists.

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A legal failing: Why child marriage persists in India

In the earliest known history of India from BC to AD, young women and men rejoiced a liberal concept of love and they had the freedom to choose a partner and enter into romantic relationships with each other without any fear of scandal. However, from Middle Age, as states and government developed, the political system elaborated and modified the Indian society gradually. It transformed the lifestyle and opinion of its people from a simple to more complex form, restricting significantly the notion of liberty. Women lost their rights and had to obey rules and respect the code be behaviour. They were now subject to family discipline and the honour of their clan. Since young women were considered irresponsible and irrational in love, parents married them early before they got caught into any scandal. Though, age at which the girl was to be married differed and it was rare for girls younger than 12 to be married in antiquity. Nevertheless, girl brides became younger towards the Medieval period, and it became increasingly common for girls as young as six or eight to be married as Indian society. The prime concern of negotiating the marriage was to find out the compatibility between the two families. It was believed during those times that if two persons know each other right from childhood it enhanced understanding and affection.

India Has the Highest Number of Child Brides in the World: How Do We Deal With It

Panel to review age of marriage for women. Marriage and divorce: Women's financial rights. A Civil Contract: Same sex relationships and marriage. How a woman can manage personal finances before and after marriage. All rights reserved.

Recent incident of mass child marriage ceremonies in Madhya Pradesh attended by political leaders has once again brought the issue to the forefront.

The Narendra Modi government plans to reduce the marriageable age for men to 18 from 21, as earlier sanctioned in the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, The government has also proposed to make child marriages void at the outset. ThePrint asks: Modi govt considers lowering marriage age for males: Can Indian men handle it at 18?

The couples on the run for love in India

Child marriage in India , according to the Indian law , is a marriage where either the woman is below age 18 or the man is below age Most child marriages involve underage women, many of whom are in poor socio-economic conditions. Child marriages are prevalent in India.

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Child marriage in India

Child marriage affects both girls and boys, but it affects girls disproportionately. It is defined as a marriage of a girl or boy before the age of 18 and refers to both formal marriages and informal unions in which children under the age of 18 live with a partner as if married. Child marriage ends childhood. These consequences impact not just the girl directly, but also her family and community. A girl who is married as a child is more likely to be out of school and not earn money and contribute to the community.

Nevertheless, girl brides became younger towards the Medieval period, and it became increasingly common for girls as young as six or eight to be married as.

Visit our new interactive Atlas! Child marriage is driven by gender inequality and the belief that girls are somehow inferior to boys. In India, child marriage is also driven by:.

Modi govt considers lowering marriage age for males: Can Indian men handle it at 18?

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