Different legal ages for girls and boys to tie the Knot is a discriminatory practice .
Legal voting age in India is 18 for both boys and girls but the legal marriageable age is 18 for girls and 21 for boys which indicates that more maturity and experience is required to handle a girl than to handle a country. When both boys and girls enter the schooling atmosphere at the same age and grow there till the age of 17 then how or why is it that girls are considered more mature and ready for marriage at 18 while the boys aren't? This law seems to be made by people who were mentally immature to understand the meaning of equality . Moreover, the reason behind the 3 years age difference is not known to anyone and definitely lacks scientific logic . The reasons cited by the majority of parents behind 18 years being set as the marriageable age for girls was poverty , fears about girls’ safety and a perceived lack of other options . This discriminatory practice of marrying girls at 18 years of age against boys who are marriageable at 21 has a far-reaching impact on the society and Nation as a whole . When girls are married off at 18 , it's the only life that they know.Just out of school and with very few employment prospects , they are dependent on their husbands (who themselves may not be professionally and financially independent at the age of 21 ). As a result, the girls are more vulnerable to abusive relationships as they have few options to leave and provide for themselves. Marriage is no joke and contrary to the popular belief , girls do not have enough maturity to get into a lifelong commitment at 18 years of age . They are often forced into these marriages by their parents .Their immaturity , lack of ability to take decisions and early pregnancy lead to frustrations, separation and divorce. Today, there are more opportunities , more choices, more knowledge and expectations from life which an 18 year old girl may not be able to avail as she is married off by her parents by that time. When the voting age can be reduced from 21 to 18 as done in 1988 , it’s time we amend the marriageable age in our country . Not only should it be increased to 25 but also kept same for both boys and girls as the regions of human brain which are crucial for decision making, anticipating consequences , rewards and risks do not reach maturity until 20s. Also, the boys become professionally and financially independent around the age of 25 years and hence can take on marital responsibility . As a progressive Nation, a new set of goals for national development are required with a desperate need to empower girls to prevent them from getting married at an early age as 18. They also need more time like boys to stand on their own feet . Once girls complete their education up to a minimum level of graduation or diploma , they have access to jobs that can earn them a living and help them in supporting their families .
There is a need to remove this discrimination in terms of different legal marriageable age of boys and girls and provide them equal time and space to enter Matrimony .
It’s time to embrace roles for girls beyond wedlock which will make them more responsible and financially independent.