India has sent a satellite to Mars, but 47% of its girls are married under the age of 18. That’s the dichotomy of India.
Child marriage is illegal in India according to the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, which puts the marriageable age at 21 years in case of male and 18 years in case of a female.
Despite the deterrent being rigorous imprisonment up to two years or with fine up to one lakh rupees or with both, child marriage is rampant in India according to a The United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) report titled, ‘Reducing Child Marriage in India A Model to Scale up Results‘.
According to the report, states with the highest prevalence of child marriage are:
- Bihar (68.2%)
- Rajasthan (57.6%)
- Jharkhand (55.7%)
- Uttar Pradesh (54.9%)
- West Bengal (54.8%)
- Madhya Pradesh (53.8%)
- Andhra Pradesh (51.8%)
- Karnataka (50.2%)
But why is it still highly prevalent?
As per the report, here are the top six reasons:
1.) It is a widely accepted and sanctioned social norm
3.) Lack of easy access to schooling, especially at secondary level
(Feature image source: Reuters)