Why legal action alone may be insufficient in ending child marriages

On 22 December, the Prohibition of Child Marriage (Amendment) Bill, 2021, which seeks to raise the age of legal marriage for women from 18 to 21, was sent to a Parliamentary Standing Committee for further discussion. The bill aims to eradicate the practice of child marriage and ensure parity in the marriageable age for men and women.

Based on available evidence and our experience in the field, Population Foundation of India has tried to highlight the underlying causes leading to the prevalence of early marriages; concerns about the proposed legislation; and a few recommendations to address the issue.