Friday, March 24, 2023

Child marriage an ongoing problem in Assam

Child marriage is a social phenomenon prevalent in several cultures and religions. In some communities, marriages are arranged as early as age two. Although child marriage is considered obsolete in some countries, it continues to be a serious issue in others. Child marriage is common in Assam. According to the 5th National Family Health Survey (NFHS-5) conducted in 2019-20, 31.8% of women aged 20-24 in Assam were married before the legal age of 18, higher than the state figure of 23.3% %. The state also has high infant and maternal mortality rates. CM Sarma cited the figures as the reason for the wave of arrests.
In 2016, the UK government repealed a law allowing children under 16 to get married with parental consent. Similarly, India’s Supreme Court banned child marriages in Gujarat in 2017, but loopholes in its law allowed child marriages to take place in secret. As a mother nation, India must eradicate this practice throughout the country.
“The Assam government is determined to end the threat of child marriage in the state. @assampolice has recorded 4,004 cases across the state so far, and more police action is likely in the coming days. Cases to begin on 3rd Feb Trial. I urge everyone to work together,” CM Sarma tweeted.
It’s a story of a steady decline In underage marriages, with the vast majority of such marriages restricted to the 15-17 age group – only 8% were married at or before age 14.
Assam accounts for just 3% of all pre-18 marriages in the country – even a state like Gujarat has 4.4%.
One statistic that sets Assam apart and might explain the sudden adoption of “zero tolerance” is the religious statistic. According to NFHS-5, while the underage marriage rate for Hindus in Assam is 23.5%, which is close to the national average (23.2%), it is similar for Muslims (45.8%) and Christians (23.8%), far from That’s above their respective averages of 26.4% and the national average of 15.2%.
All Indian data shows that early marriages are concentrated among the poorest, and this is even more so in Assam, where 42% of people marry minors in the poorest 20%. Poverty is strongly correlated with religious minority status – 51% of Muslims belong to the poorest class, while only 31% of Hindus are in the same class
“The general perception is that child marriage is a problem in Muslim societies. But Duburi has a high child marriage rate because it is one of the poorest districts in Assam where most of the families are illiterate. No Because Muslims live here,” Mr Zaman said. Child marriage is not uncommon in Assam. According to the 2022 Population Sample Survey conducted by the Union Home Ministry, Jharkhand and West Bengal have the highest child marriage rates in the country, more than any other state.
PG 1st semester,
Department of MCJMS, Cotton University, Guwahati, Assam

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