Bill to increase marriage age for women introduced in Lok Sabha

New Delhi: Union Cabinet Minister for Women and Child Development Smriti Irani on Tuesday introduced The Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021 in Lok Sabha. The Bill seeks to increase the age of marriage of women from 18 years to 21 years.

While introducing the marriage bill, the Union Minister in her remarks said, “We are, in a democracy, 75 years late in providing equal rights to men and women to enter into matrimony. Through this amendment, for the first time, men and women will be able to make a decision on marriage at the age of 21, keeping in mind the right to equality.”

Meanwhile, Opposition leaders launched slammed the Centre for introducing the bill without discussions. Leader of Congress in Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury demanded that the Bill should be referred to Standing Committee.

“We would like to advise the Government that mistakes happen when work is done in haste. A lot of discussions are being done in India over this matter. The government has neither spoken to any stakeholder nor consulted any state. We demand that the Bill be referred to Standing Committee,” said Chowdhury.

Trinamool Congress (TMC) MP Saugata Roy opposed the way in which the Government has brought the Bill in a hurry. “I oppose the way in which the Government has brought the Bill in a hurry. This Bill needs total discussion among all stakeholders. The minority people are totally opposed to this Bill,” said Roy.

Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (DMK) MP Kanimozhi said, “Except for Women’s Reservation Bill, Government does not believe in consulting anybody. It is very important that such an important Bill has to be sent to Standing Committee or Select Committee and they have to review it and ask for opinions in civil society and then bring the Bill.”