Child Commission of Odisha Not in Favour of Increasing Marriage Age

Ever since the central government announced the move to raise legal age of marriage of girls to 21 years there are many voices being raised against the move. OSCPCR – The Odisha State Commission for Protection of Child Rights is not in favor of raising the age of marriage to 21 years for women as this could promote unwedded pregnancies among women.

According to  OSCPCR Chairperson Sandhayabati Pradhan said, “The change of legislation in isolation will never be able to stop child marriages unless there is socio-behavioral change among the parents and the community.” Ms. Pradhan further added that there are many other factors responsible for child marriage which need to be tackled first. Poverty, lack of employment, lack of education and certain old customs and traditions are also some of the factors to be looked into. Solely increasing the marriage age of women is not the right solution to the problem.

OSCPCR recommended the legal age of marriage for both boys and girls to 18 years instead of 21 years. The committee proposed in making a suitable environment for girls through education and employment so that the girl is independent and can take decision of marriage according to her own will without any pressure from parents and society.