What Is Child Marriage?

Topics: India, Marriage, States and territories of India Pages: 1 (381 words) Published: August 21, 2013
Child marriage is a common practice in many countries around the world, however it is especially prevalent in India, where more than one third of all child brides live.[1] According to UNICEF, 47% of girls are married by 18 years of age, and 18% are married by 15 years of age.[2] These marriages are often performed without the consent of the girls involved in the marriage. Indian law has made child marriage illegal, but it is still widely practiced across the nation. The highest rates are seen particularly in the rural states of Andhra Pradesh, Bihar, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh.[3] It affects both boys and girls, but statistics show that girls are far more likely to be forced into a child marriage than boys; however the percentage of girls forced into child marriage in India has declined in recent years.The Child Marriage Restraint Act, also called the Sarda Act,[9] was a law to restrict the practice of child marriage. It was enacted on 1 April 1930, extended across the whole nation, with the exceptions of the states of Jammu and Kashmir, and applied to every Indian citizen. Its goal was to eliminate the dangers placed on young girls who could not handle the stress of married life and avoid early deaths. This Act defined a male child as 21 years or younger, a female child as 18 years or younger, and a minor as a child of either sex 18 years or younger. The punishment for a male between 18 and 21 years marrying a child became imprisonment of up to 15 days, a fine of 1,000 rupees, or both. The punishment for a male above 21 years of age became imprisonment of up to three months and a possible fine. The punishment for anyone who performed or directed a child marriage ceremony became imprisonment of up to three months and a possible fine, unless he could prove the marriage he performed was not a child marriage. The punishment for a parent or guardian of a child taking place in the marriage became imprisonment of up to three months or a possible...
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