What’s age got to do with it?
Why recent debates on raising the legal age of marriage in India are important for young people, advocates, policymakers, and funders everywhere
December 19, 2020
In June 2020, the Indian government established a Task Force to review the minimum legal age of marriage for girls. One proposal under consideration is to increase the minimum age of marriage for girls from 18 to 21. This has spurred an energetic mobilization by a wide cross-section of advocates for women’s rights, youth rights, and child rights. At this webinar, we heard from some of the movement leaders whose activism is raising critical questions about protection and rights for young people in India and beyond. Key questions addressed included:
Does focus on the age of marriage — at 18 or at 21 — aid or distract us from addressing the root causes of early marriage? How does this discussion influence efforts to build the agency and autonomy of girls and young people?
What is the role of the law in addressing child marriage? Who is protected, who is empowered, and who is criminalized?
Beyond laws, what other investments must be made to support adolescent girls and all young people to build healthy lives of their choosing?
Kehkasha, The YP Foundation; Madhu Mehra, Partners for Law in Development; Archana Dwivedi, Nirantar Trust; Sagar Sachdeva, The YP Foundation; Shipra Jha, Girls Not Brides: The Global Partnership to End Child Marriage; Marisa Viana, Resurj; Sarah Green, American Jewish World Service