It needs to be acknowledged that women have proved that they have much more inherent strength than men. This is evident from their humility with which they keep meeting all odds in family as well as social life. However, it is most unfortunate that this lot even today continues to be at the receiving end tolerating all sorts of discrimination and injus- tice at the hands of the male dominated society especially in the underdeveloped and the developed world. It is an irony that even in India where woman has been held in high esteem as per the religious scriptures as well as per the ages old customs, she is today victim of the worst forms of exploitation and discrimination. While the Govt has launched several schemes for women and stands fully com- mitted for their empowerment, its latest move towards rais- ing the women’s legal marriage age from18 to 21 bringing it at par with that of men is quite appreciable as it will be yet another milestone towards addressing the significant ‘Gender Inequity’ issue. It is pertinent to mention here that the Union Cabinet has cleared a proposal in this regard and the pertaining bill is likely to be brought in the Parliament in the ongoing Winter Session. It needs to be acknowledged that women are no less than men in today’s modern world.
Competing with the male counterparts they have proved their mettle in every sector. They are delivering their best in politics, education and business besides having made remarkable entry even in the defence forces. However, despite such strides by Indian women it is very unfortunate to witness that still girl child marriages are reported from several areas across the nation besides a lot of discrimina- tion against them continuing unabated in the male dominat- ed society. It needs to be understood that bringing the mar- riage age of women at par with that of men is inevitable as failure to do so would amount to an inequity that leaves ample scope for discrimination against the weaker sex.
While talking about gender equity and empowerment in every field, we cannot leave marriage aspect out because it is a very odd and outdated message that a girl can be fit to be married at 18 and craves serious attention of law mak- ers. Analyzing the issue meticulously one can easily con- clude that disparity in marriage age deprives women of the opportunity to go to college as compared to men who get appropriate opportunity to prepare themselves for future life and earning livelihood by the time they attain the age of 21 years. Therefore these days when girls are capable of deliv- ering exceptional results in every field, raising their mar- riageable age from 18 years to 21 years is a necessity fully justified. Once the Parliament passes this bill it will undoubt- edly enable the women to take significant decisions regard- ing their career and other issues themselves besides.
Moreover, this law will go a long way in making women self reliant and according them the genuine status at par with that of their male counterparts in the society. Let every indi- vidual in the society further augment the government’s ini- tiatives in this regard by taking concrete steps to help achieve gender parity more quickly by helping women and girls achieve their ambitions, calling for gender-balanced leadership, respecting and valuing the difference, develop- ing more inclusive and flexible cultures and root out work- place bias. Remember that by empowering Women we shall succeed in ultimately empowering the nation.