Legal Age of Marriage in India 

Why it should be raised from 18 to 21 for Girls?

Legal Age of Marriage in India : In India, marriage is of utmost importance since it not only brings two people together but also promotes cultural, social, and family togetherness. It has a crucial role in forming Indian society since it is firmly anchored in tradition and acts as a basis for family life, the continuation of traditions, and the preservation of values.

In India, the concept of marriage has changed substantially throughout time. It used to be planned and focused on obligation and family connections, but it has since accepted love marriages and personal preference.

Legal Age of Marriage in India 
Legal Age of Marriage in India 

Women’s rights have been strengthened by contemporary beliefs and legislative changes, which has resulted in more equitable relationships and a deeper understanding of the meaning of marriage.

For females, raising the legal age of marriage from 18 to 21 is crucial to advancing their education, wellbeing, and general wellbeing. It enables girls to make a more responsible and educated choice regarding marriage, lowering the chance of early pregnancies, fostering job prospects, and enabling them to actively engage in society. By 2023, India’s legal marriage age will be subject to the same restrictions and requirements for both boys and girls.

Legal Age of Marriage in India 

According to tradition, there is no age restriction on marriage in Hinduism. The Hindu Marriage Act of 1955 established the idea of legal consent at a certain age. According to Section 5(iii) of the Act, the lad and bride had to be at least 18 years old and 21 years old, respectively, when they got married. Even the requirements for solemnizing special weddings under Section 4 of the 1954 Special Marriage Act establish the same legal marriage age in India.

Marriage before the age of majority is prohibited under the Child Marriage Restraint Act (1929) and even the most recent Prohibition of Child Marriage Act (2006). According to a proposed amendment, the marriage age for girls in India will rise from 18 to 21 years old by the year 2022.

The changes have not yet been approved by the parliament and are not yet in effect. If you see someone arranging a child marriage in violation of the law, get in touch with the relevant authorities using family attorneys in India.

India’s Minimum Marital Age for Boys

According to local law, the husband is obligated to support the wife. The legal marriage age in India is greater for men than for women because of this. In the typical situation, a man must be at least 21 years old to be married in accordance with the legislation. Muslim men’s legal marriage age is rumored to coincide with reaching puberty.

Age of Marriage for Girls in India

The Special Marriage Act of 1954, as well as the majority of personal laws, limit the legal age of marriage for women in India at 18 and over. However, for Muslims, reaching puberty is the sign that a marriage is going to take place. In India, females are often considered to have reached marriageable age after they become 15 years old.

It was just recently recommended to raise the marriage age for women in India to 21 years. The evidence on child marriage, however, indicates that society is moving away from child marriage.

An Attempt to Increase the Age of Marriage 

A squad led by Jaya Jaitley was established by the Ministry for Women and Child Development in June 2020 to look at the relationship between marriage and difficulties with women’s nutrition, infant mortality rate (IMR), motherly mortality rate (MMR), and other concerns. Following the discussion, they presented findings that support raising the marriage age to 21.

Gender equivalence is an additional factor. The Special Marriage Act’s Section 4(c) specifies that women must be 18 years old to marry, while males must be 21 years old, although this provision makes no justifiable justification or justification. The legal age to vote, the legal age to willingly consent to a sexual connection, and the legal age to engage into a contract are all the same.

In light of this, the age to enter into a bond for life should likewise be the same. The Supreme Court editorialized that it is crucial to make the age of marriage for men and women irrelevant in the corner judgment of Independent study v. Union of India.

On December 21, 2021, the prohibition of child marriage (Correction) Bill, 2021, was introduced in the Lok Sabha. The Prohibition of Child Marriage Act, 2006 will be changed by the Bill to increase the minimum age for women to be married. The Bill increases the legal minimum age of marriage for women from 18 to 21 and bans child marriage until the age of 23 instead of 20 times. It also states that the provisions of the Implied Act shall prevail over any other law, custom, use, or practice governing the parties to the marriage.

A Scientific Approach 

The most typical cultural relationship for procreation in human culture is marriage. Although the rites may differ, the ultimate goal is to create a marriage of a man and a woman that is recognized by the law in civil society.

Puberty may be the benchmark if we use reproductive science to determine the Indian marriage age for girls and boys. Puberty is the age at which a person’s body begins to grow in terms of reproduction, becoming an adult. It often occurs in females between the ages of 10-15. The age range for males is between 13 and 16 years old. However, females who marry shortly after reaching puberty have a greater risk of maternal mortality.

Even if the psychological component is highlighted, experience rather than age is what leads to maturity. Both guys and girls must be quite mature to enter into marriage.

There is no clear-cut recommendation for when a person should get married based on scientific study. However, other publications have shown data-based studies that demonstrate persons who get married between the ages of 28 and 32 have a lower divorce rate.

According to some study, people should marry between the ages of 24 and 30. But even scientists acknowledge that no one’s life is effortless and uniform. Therefore, determining whether to get married young or wait till one is in their late 20s will not be aided by depending on scientific evidence.

The Need to Increase the Marital Age for Girls

The legal marriage age for women should be increased from 18 to 21 in order to protect their rights and general welfare. Child marriage is still a problem in many nations, including India, and it has negative effects on young females. There are various advantages to raising the marriage age. First off, it frees females from the burden of impending marriage-related obligations to pursue their education and personal growth.

Education is a potent instrument that equips people with the knowledge they need to make wise decisions and end the cycle of poverty. Girls can develop their education and skills while delaying marriage, which will improve their employability and eventual financial independence.

Second, raising the marriageable age can benefit girls’ health. In child marriages, early pregnancies can result in greater maternal death rates and health issues for both the mother and the child. Girls are better prepared for parenthood and have healthier pregnancies and deliveries when given more time to mature physically and emotionally.Additionally, postponing marriage advances gender equality.

Early marriage by girls reinforces conventional gender norms where women are expected to put family responsibilities ahead of personal goals. Girls have a better opportunity to express their rights and take part in decision-making processes if they are permitted to marry later in life.


In order to advance gender equality, education, health, and general well-being, it is imperative and required to raise the legal age of marriage for females in India from 18 to 21.

We provide girls the tools they need to make wise decisions about their lives and futures by enabling them to pursue their education and personal development.

Reducing the likelihood of early pregnancies results in better mother and child health outcomes. Additionally, it gives females the freedom to reject conventional gender norms and actively engage in society, promoting a more just and forward-thinking society. Raising the marriage age and working to end child marriage in India are priorities for politicians who want to build a better, more inclusive future.


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