Millions of children in India are being married before they are old enough to even understand the concept.
Highlighting this problem that persist throughout India new research has shown that nearly 12 million Indian children were married before the age of 10 years, 84% of them Hindu and 11% Muslim.
Legal ages of consent do vary from country to country, but one might wonder if a child of such a young age is even able to understand the implications of marriage, before they have even started puberty.
The stats show, unsurprisingly, that a vastly higher number of girls are being married at very young ages, highlighting the worrying issue of women’s rights in India and the far East.
Many of the young married children where also found to be illiterate, showing the relationship between a lack of education and a low level of human rights.
It has been traditional is India for centuries for marriages to be arranged between families, with children being earmarked for a certain husband or wife for when they grow and are old enough to marry.
But these statistics show a worrying trend of arranged marriages being taken to an extreme level.
There are cases of young people rejecting the decisions of who their parents had arranged them to marry, although this often creates tension within the family, as the marriages are often proposed as ‘good’ business deals, where both families will benefit.
But emancipation has led to to a growing trend of the rejection of this idea.
Marrying a child at the age of 10 or younger means they are trapped into the agreement before they can decide against it.
The law in India rules that a girl cannot legally marry before she is 18, but these figures reveal a disregard for the law.
Many of the underage marriages where in rural areas, perhaps where the law is taken into the hand of the small villages, rather than following the proper law of the land.
Featured Image – Representational image. Credit: Reuters/Amit Dave