There has been a demand to increase the marriage age of girls. By filing a petition in the Supreme Court, BJP leader Ashwini Upadhyay has demanded that the minimum age for marriage of girls be 21 years.
In the petition, he has also made the Government of India a party. The petition said that keeping girls at a lower age than boys violates the fundamental rights of equality, freedom and dignified life.
Upadhyay has said in the petition that the minimum age for marriage of boys is 21 years. Whereas for girls 18 years, what is its basis? The basis is the patriarchal thinking which hinders the way for girls to become self-sufficient. Upadhyay has argued in the petition that the girls’ age limit was fixed with no scientific studies, etc.
He has told the Supreme Court that in India, the age limit of marriage for girls is against global trends. Not only this, it violates Articles 14, 15 and 21 of the Constitution.
It is also against the right to equality and dignity for women.
We also know Ashwini Upadhyay as PIL Man has said that women and men have equal age for marriage in over 125 countries of the world
Its demand has also been increasing in India. The National Human Rights Commission, in a seminar held in New Delhi on 29-30 August last year, has advocated for the same age of boy and girl for marriage.
He has argued that it will give girls time to study. Girls will not have to face social pressure. Otherwise, the home-society with archaic thinking starts seeking women from children only after marriage. Being pregnant at a young age also affects their studies and their careers. Because of which girls are stuck in the path of self-sufficiency.
Upadhyay has also cited the WHO report in the petition. According to which women who are pregnant before the age of 20 years have to face all kinds of physical problems including low weight.
The petition said that boys get 21 years of age; they get an opportunity to get stronger educationally and financially, so why should girls not get such opportunities?