JI India opposes move to raise legal age of marriage for women

New Delhi, December 20 (KMS): The Jamaat-e-Islami India President, Syed Sadatullah Husaini has expressed concern over the Modi government’s move to raise the legal age of marriage for women to 21.

The Modi Cabinet has recently approved the introduction of a new bill that would amend the ‘The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 (PCMA)’ to raise the legal age of marriage of women from 18 to 21 years.

The JI India President in a statement said, “We do not think it is a wise move to raise the legal age of marriage for women to 21 in India. Currently, there is a global consensus that the legal age of marriage for women should be 18 years. This is being followed in maximum countries including many developed countries. The government feels that increasing the age to 21 will increase the age of motherhood, lower fertility rates and improve the health of mothers and newborns. However, data does not support this approach”.

The poor health indicators of mothers and young infants in India are because of poverty and malnourishment. “Raising the age limit will have no bearing on these health indicators if poverty and poor access to healthcare remain at existing elevated levels,” he added.

Husaini said that the move also goes against the law of nature. It will create psychological, medical, social and human rights issues. He asked the government not pass the law in haste, but evolve a consensus on the issue by initiating a dialogue with community leaders and subject matter experts from the associated domains.