Child Marriage



  • India stood 11th in the worldwide rank of countries with high incidence of child marriages, accounting for a high 47% of all children. (Nigeria is in the first place with 68%.)
  • As many as 39,000 minor girls are being married every day in India
  • Legal provisions : Prohibition of Child Marriages Act, 2006.
  • Every third child bride in the world is an Indian.
  • As per the Fourth National Family Health Survey of 2015-16, there are 26.8% of brides in the country who were married below the age of 18.


Supreme Court observations:
  • It was unfortunate to note that parents drive their minor children into marriage
  • At least one in three marriages in rural areas involves girl children below the age of 18.
Petition filed by NGO Independent Thought:
  • Contention: Petition challenges the Exception to Section 375 (rape) of the Indian Penal Code, which permits “intrusive sexual intercourse with a girl child aged between 15 and 18 only on the ground that she is married.”
  • The Exception is part of the Criminal Law (Amendment) Act of 2013 and is contrary to the anti-child sex abuse law, Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act of 2012 (POCSO).
Despite the spread of education and awareness, in some parts of the country the practice of child marriage is rampant. Critically examine the social, cultural and economic reasons behind such practices. (200 Words)
Child marriage is a marriage in which the age of groom is below 21 years and bride below 18 years. Child marriage denies the child with basic right to good health, nutrition and education. Early marriage makes girls more vulnerable to violence. Reasons of child marriages in India:
  1. Value of virginity: It is believed that husband needs virgin wife and if the daughter had premarital sex it will dishonor their family.
  2. Gender norms: males are more valued in Indian family and women primary role is to produce son.
  3. Dowry: If the girl is married at lower age they may not demand dowry as the girl is pure and believed to be incarnation of goddess Laxmi.
  4. Families see it as protection against sexual assault.
  1. Girl child is seen as economic burden on family considered as ‘paraya dhan’ property that belongs to marital family.
  2. In poor family dowry from bride’s family will support the groom’s family and groom financially.
  3. Poor girl’s family sees that marriage will protect her future.
  4. Child marriage means more children and more children will earn more and save family from financial problems.
  5. Family do not want to invest on girls education as there is no return from her and rather trained to become a good wife till the age of 13 or 14 and then they are married

  1. Child marriage is seen as custom which has been borrowed from past and people do not want to change it.
  2. Some people believes that if girl is educated she will not perform its traditional duties.
  3. Some societies/castes have social stigma against girl married after puberty.



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