- He said that this is typical paternalism that we have come to expect from the govt
- 18 year old men & women can sign contracts, start businesses, choose PMs but can’t marry, he asks
- ‘Both men & women should be allowed to legally marry at 18 as they’re treated as adults by the law’
Raising Marriage age: AIMIM chief Assadudin Owaisi on Friday came down heavily on the Centre its decision to raise the legal age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 years. In 12-long tweets, the Muslim leader not only has called the Centre ‘typical paternalism,’ but also questioned Narendra Modi’s government steps to improve education for girls.
The Union Cabinet had on Wednesday cleared a proposal to bring in uniformity in the marriageable age of men and women, sources said on Thursday. The government is likely to bring a bill in the ongoing Winter Session of Parliament to amend the Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006, they said.
“Modi govt has decided to increase the age of marriage for women to 21. This is typical paternalism that we have come to expect from the govt. 18 year old men & women can sign contracts, start businesses, choose Prime Ministers & elect MPs & MLAs but not marry?”
“They can consent to sexual relationships and live-in partnerships but cannot choose their life partners? Just ridiculous. Both men & women should be allowed to legally marry at 18 as they’re treated as adults by the law for all other purposes”
“Child marriages are rampant despite a law. Every fourth woman in India was married before turning 18 but only 785 criminal cases of child marriages were recorded. If child marriages have reduced from before, it’s due to education & economic progress, not criminal law”
“There are 12m kids married before they even turned 10. 84% of these are from Hindu families & only 11% are Muslim. This clearly points to the fact that social reform and government initiatives in education & human development are critical to preventing child marriages”
“More than legal age of marriage, it is improved education & better economic prospects for youngsters, that impacts when they marry. 45% of poorest households had child marriages; only 10% of wealthiest households did so”
“If Modi was sincere, he would have focused on increasing economic opportunities for women. Yet India is the only country where women’s participation in workforce is dwindling. It fell to 16% in 2020 from 26% in 2005.”
“Men & women are treated as adults at 18 for most critical things. Why is marriage any different? The legal age is not really a criteria; the essential goal must be to ensure education, economic progress & human development”
“Supreme Court recognised right to privacy as a fundamental right for adults. The autonomy to take decisions concerning oneself are critical to this fundamental right. This includes the right to choose a partner & the right to decide if/when to have children”
“In many US states, marriage age is as low as 14. In UK & Canada, it’s 16. In NZ, 16-19 year olds can marry with parental consent. These nations improved human development of young people so that they can take INFORMED decisions rather than fixing arbitrary age restrictions”
“In contrast, Modi govt acts like a Mohalla Uncle. Deciding what we eat, who/when we marry, what God we worship, etc Ironically, govt proposes 18 as age of consent in Data Bill. If 18-year olds can choose how their data is used, why can’t they choose their life partners?”
“It’s time to stop thinking of young people as children in perpetuity. They should be allowed the space to think & decide for themselves. This is also why I’ve proposed a private members’ bill that will allow 20 year olds to become MPs & MLAs.”