By Vanshika Thakur
The Indian government is looking at the possibility to increase the marriageable age of women in India. As the basic education and services increase, a task force is now discussing the shift in the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21.
In India, 27 percent of girls are married before their 18th birthday, according to a report by UNICEF. The minimum age of marriage for women has been 18 and 21 for men since 1978. Reconsideration of this is partly due to the maternal mortality rate and wellbeing of young mothers in India.
The recommendations can be expected by July 31, the WCD said. The task force is funded by the Niti Aayog think-tank of the government and will consist of 10 members responsible for researching the relations between the age of marriage and motherhood and the nutritional status of the child and mother, before, during and after birth. I will also recommend strategies for fostering women’s higher education.
The main cause of the death of 15-19-year-old girls is complications related to pregnancy. In India, the number of women and girls who died in 2017 as a result of problems during pregnancy and childbirth was as high as 35000, though it has dropped significantly from 103,000 in 2000.
Women who are married and impregnated at a very early age lack the recourse to adequate education and access to health care, antenatal care, skilled child care, and complete infant vaccination that explains the lack of child care.