Bill increasing marriage age for women introduced in LS

New Delhi: Women and Child Development Minister Smriti Irani on Tuesday introduced a bill to make 21 years the legal age of marriage for women in the Lok Sabha and said it will be sent to a parliamentary Standing Committee for further scrutiny.
The Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill 2021 was introduced amid protests by opposition parties as several members held placards and stood in the Well of the House. Upping the marriage age to 21 for women will bring them on par with men.
“We are in a democracy 75 years late in providing equal rights to men and women to enter matrimony,” Irani said.
The Minister said between 2015-2020, over 20 lakh child marriages were stopped.
Irani said: “I would like to present that women equality in our country needs to be seen in (terms of) age of marriage. Invoking different marriage laws of different faiths, I rise to introduce the amendment bill.”
Stressing that the age of marriage should be uniform across genders, the Minister said the government wants to send the Bill to a Standing Committee.
The bill ran into fierce opposition from several parties.
Congress leader Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury opposed its introduction and said it required further scrutiny. Gaurav Gogoi of Congress said different personal laws would be affected by this legislation.
AIMIM MP Asaduddin Owaisi questioned why an 18-year-old can choose the Prime Minister but not take decision about marriage.
Anubhav Mohanty of Biju Janata Dal slammed government for passing legislation without discussion.
NCP’s Supriya Sule and DMK’s Kanimozhi also demanded that there should be more discussion with stakeholders.