In the hearing for the uniform age of marriage for both girls and boys, the Women and Child Development Ministry wants Law Ministry on-board too. The ministry told Delhi High court on Wednesday that since the plea for uniform marriage age refers to various marriage laws, The Law Ministry’s comments too are required. Monika Arora, who is the Central Government’s standing counsel, sought time from the court to first seek Law Ministry’s stand and then file a unified response.

This petition, filed in public interest under Article 226, challenges a blatant, on-going form of discrimination against women. That is the discriminatory minimum age for marriage for men and women in India.

Key Takeaways:

  • BJP leader Ashwini Kumar Upadhyay, who is also a lawyer, filed a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) in Delhi High Court to abolish the concept of different minimum age for marriage of men and women.
  • The petitioner claims that more than 125 countries in the world have a uniform age for marriage for men and women. 
  • This petition, filed in public interest under Article 226, challenges a blatant, on-going form of discrimination against women. 
  • As the Ministry of Women and Child Development will file a unified response after interacting with the Law Ministry, the next date for hearing in the case is February 19.

Amendments In The Law Prohibiting Child Marriage

The WCD Ministry told the bench consisting of Chief Justice D N Patel and Justice C Hari Shankar that they’re also holding consultations with stakeholders on making amendments in the law prohibiting child marriage. Monika Arora, who is the Central Government’s standing counsel, sought time from the court to first seek Law Ministry’s stand and then file a unified response.

Read More; ‘Wife’ comment on Esther Duflo’s Nobel prize indicative of a bigger problem

“This petition, filed in public interest under Article 226, challenges a blatant, on-going form of discrimination against women. That is the discriminatory minimum age for marriage for men and women in India. While men in India are permitted to get married at the age of 21, women are allowed to get married when they are 18. This distinction is based on patriarchal stereotypes, has no scientific backing, perpetrates de jure and de facto inequality against women, and goes completely against the global trends,” the petition reads.

The petitioner claims that more than 125 countries in the world have a uniform age for marriage for men and women.

More Than 125 Countries Across The World Have Uniform Age For Marriage

The petitioner claims that more than 125 countries in the world have the same minimum age for marriage for men and women. Countries like Albania, Algeria, Argentina, Armenia, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bhutan, Botswana, Brazil, Denmark, Egypt, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Kazakhstan, etc have a same minimum age for marriage of men and women. According to a report by The Independent, child marriage is still widely prevalent in India despite the laws. The minimum age for tying a knot differs for men and women, being 18 for women and 21 for men. Globally, the average age for marrying is 17 for men and 16 for women. However, in many countries, girls are allowed to marry at a much younger age. Several places, including the state of Massachusetts in the United States, allow girls as young as 12 to get married in “exceptional circumstances” with the consent of a judge.

Picture Credit- MyAdvo.in

Read More: Do We Need A ‘Women’s Beer’ In Our Lives, Ladies?

Get the best of SheThePeople delivered to your inbox - subscribe to Our Power Breakfast Newsletter. Follow us on Twitter , Instagram , Facebook and on YouTube, and stay in the know of women who are standing up, speaking out, and leading change.