Child years of age, and if a female,

Child
Marriage in India: Its causes and effects

 

 

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Submitted
by:-

Ddanish
Kapoor

Amul
Lama Tamang

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Abstract:

The Child Marriage is one of the most serious issues
especially in India. This has been a problem since long period as child
marriage has been prevalent in India. The main reason this type of marriage is
prevalent in our society is because girls (women) are not treated as equal to
men. Girls are treated as commodities and there is also a saying as “paraya dhan” meaning that they are
liability to the family. The worst thing is that they do not even get a chance
to be literate, and are made to have responsibilities of a wife and husband at
an early age. Due to child marriage both girls and boys also don’t get a chance
to live their teenage life or childhood and forced to enter into the reality of
marriage they are not ready to cooperate with. Marriages should be done only
after reaching a level of maturity that is after reaching the age of 18 for
girls and 21 for boys according to Section 2(a) of The Prohibition of Child
Marriage Act, 2006. Here, this paper is going to illustrate on child marriage
in India and its effect on children who get married at an early age. This paper
will only illustrate the effects of Child Marriage in India

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Introduction:

Child
marriage refers to the marriage of a child younger than 18 years old1.
According to Section 2(a) of The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 of
India that a “child” means a person who, if a male, has not completed
twenty-one years of age, and if a female, has not completed eighteen years of
age.2
Children are getting married at a very young under the duress of parents
in India. According to section 2(b) of The Prohibition Of Child Marriage Act,
2006 “child marriage” means a marriage to which either of the contracting
parties is a child.3
Here, the “contracting parties” means those people who is bound to get married
or are already married. Child marriage is a serious issue in the India. A child
should go through the process of development by playing fun games, sports,
studying, going to school and so on. A child should go through the process of
development by playing fun games, sports, studying, going to school and so on.
Children have the rights for personal development but child marriage has been
one of the hurdles these children in India face in modern world. Any marriage
done before the age of 18 years is illegal. Children are arranged married early
just after or before puberty occurs. The children don’t even get a chance to
live there adolescent lives because there is high chance they will become a
parent at a young age. As derivative interpretation of several international
documents, it is a violation of human rights.4

Objective:

Objective
of this paper is to find out the effects of child marriage and their long
lasting damages to young married children couples in India.

Limitations:

This
paper only focuses on the effects of child marriage in India only. This paper has
not touch any other topic except child marriage.

Methodology:

This
research paper totally based on the secondary data collected from online
sources, articles, report of organizations and statutes of India.

 

 

Backgrounds:

From
studies conducted, child marriage usually is a result of customary practices
which can be of religious origin or beliefs 
or of different reasons relating to economy and of beliefs that girls
are not as much as importance than the their counter sex (male). There is a
saying that girls in India are said to be “paraya dhan” meaning other’s
property. The status of girls is low hence they are considered as property
which is to be given to others as soon as possible. The practice of “Kanya
daan” is highly prevalent in South Asian region, including Nepal, India, and
Bangladesh. The concept of giving girls for marriage in India holds a different
meaning. But in studies we can find that this concept has been manipulated and
girls are married to boys of the same age group or of some age gap below the
tender age of 18 years to bring in economic reliefs i.e. dowry. Example, if
girls are of 13 years then boys will be of 13 years or 14-19 years of age. The
parents have different motives in arranging child marriage. They feel compelled
that they have to get their children married as quickly as possible. In many
communities, a young girl brings in a lot of dowry. The emphases on
the age gap is also given very less as the age gap between the two sexes can be
of same age or have small or big age gap.5

If
we are to look sociologically, some communities in India still believe that
girls are incapable of being able to work as professional or cannot not
qualified to enter into professions and provide services such as medical
services, law services and so on.

Causes of child marriage:

The main causes of
child marriage besides social practices are:

·        
Poverty:

Poor families in India are usually forced to sell
their children to settle their debts or to make money through this means.

·        
Sexuality
of girls:

The main concern of the families in India is the
sexuality of girls. The concept of virginity plays a big role in marriage. The
virginity of girls is actually related to the honour of the family therefore
ensuring “girl’s virginity” means the honour of the family is protected before
the marriage. This whole idea is also generated to control the promiscuity of
the girls, to control them.

·        
Inadequate
Laws:

In India, laws’ relating to prevent child marriage
such as The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 is present. But the ineffectiveness
of such laws leads to creating problems such as child marriage in India.6
The issues of child marriage are high especially in rural areas than that
of urban areas. If we dig deeper then we can find that the factors that
encourage its subsistence are usually a combination of  poverty, lack of education, continued
perpetration of patriarchal relations and cultural perspectives actually
enables such child marriages to occur and sustain itself, getting its roots
deep rooted in the society.

Findings:
Data and effects:

According to the data
collected from the official sites from “Girls, not brides” the child marriage
rates is astounding. According to statistics of UNICEF 2016, child marriage
married by age 15 was 18% and the percentage of marriage of child by the age of
18 was 47%. From the data, we get the insight that the number of child marriage
in India is higher before the age of 18 years. The rates of child marriage vary
between states and are as high as 69% and 65% in Bihar and Rajisthan.7

Effects
of Child Marriage:

The issue of child
marriage not a issue to be taken lightly. If we are to look deeply into the
matters of child marriage the effects are very harsh. The most dangerous effect
of child marriage will be pregnancy and its effect on young girls. An estimated
14 million girls between the ages of 15 and 19 give birth each year. They are
twice more likely to die during pregnancy or childbirth than women in their
20s.9 The effects of child marriage has effects on both the sexes as
both boys and girls don’t get the opportunity to live in their adolescent. They
get deprived of the opportunity to learn new thing in school. Usually after
getting married, the girls get deprived of right to education. They are
assigned to house hold works in home and are presumed to be incapable of
handling professions. Economically, child marriages work as mechanisms that are
quick income earners. Girls are often seen as a quick way to earn cash and get
other material like gold, silver and other valuable goods and material.

 

 

 

Conclusion:

In conclusion, this paper
concludes that child marriage is one of the most concerning issues of the
world, not only in India. Child marriage is a bad practice that actually puts
the lives of child in danger and the exploitation of those children to get
quick cash is disheartening and inhumane. This act of child marriage is to be
condemned, not encouraged or celebrated. Child marriage is still prevalent in
India even though the laws are present. This is due to lack of efficiency of
the laws and ineffectiveness of the law enforcement groups. Firstly, the laws
should be enforced by the law enforces effectively through active planning.
Secondly, the human rights commissions and other organizations both NGOs and
Governmental organizations should spread awareness and conduct programs that
actually make people aware about this malpractice. And lastly, the problem
cannot be addressed without rehabilitating the victims of the child marriage.
The child got their adolescence, their childhood snatched from them without
their consent. Hence, child marriage not only affects the child but also the society
because if most of the young generations will be victims of child marriage who
will bring development to the land in the future? This a question we all need
to ask ourselves.

1
Article 1, Convention on the
rights of the child

 

2
Section 2A of The Prohibition
Act of child marriage act, 2006

 

3
Section 2B of Prohibition Act
of child marriage act, 2006

 

4
Child Marriages in India, An
insight into law and policy, December 2013 at Page no.4.

 

 

5
IBID

 

 

6https://www.thoughtco.com/child-marriage-facts-causes-cosequences-2353030

 

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India