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The Rise in Marriageable Age Is A Welcome Change But There’s Still A Lot of Work To Be Done!

We live in the age of educated illiterates. The rise in marriageable age to 21 will not help women until families on both sides change their mindset!

A delay of 3 years… and then empowerment?

As we all know, the legal age for marriage for women in India has been raised to 21. The reason? Women hence, will get to continue their education and become more independent.

Here’s the catch. Just delaying this process by 3 years is going to do nothing to help women empowerment, if the families that they marry into and the families that they come from remain the same. The idea right now is to empower women, and to get them married off in exactly the same way that they would have 3 years back. 

What are these 3 years going to do to change the mindset of the people around her? If she wasn’t allowed to study after marriage 3 years ago, she won’t be allowed to work after marriage today. Do all men know how to live with independent women?

If the Indian marriage system curbs dreams of women, something is very wrong with our idea of marriage itself

Girls are still told by their parents to follow their dreams of travel after marriage, with the husband.  On the other hand, let’s not forget that there are in-laws who decide whether their daughter-in-law should work, whether she likes it or not, while her husband stays mum even today in educated families.

Her own parents decide when and whom she should meet before marriage, and after marriage, her in-laws and husband take up the role of the decision makers. When all her major decisions are taken by somebody else, her dreams pale in comparison to their know-it all attitude. Any attempt to voice an opinion is seen as insubordination, even by the husband. Why should there be subordination in an equal relationship in the first place?

Just showing girls that there is a possibility of flight and then sending her to a place where she may or may not be caged is not ok.

Of course, the rise in marriageable age is a welcome change. But there’s lot of work to be done. If the Indian marriage system curbs the dreams of multiple girls, something is very wrong with our idea of marriage itself. Just a delay of 3 years will do nothing to change that.

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We live in the age of educated illiterates and change needs to come from the roots

When there are multiple people who get involved and question all the choices in the name of “family” in the lives of two married people, why do we get shocked when it turns into a recipe for disaster?

Professional counselling needs to be made mandatory for everybody- for the girl, boy and their respective families, before getting into a marriage in the first place. Boundaries need to be set before making it legal. Partner expectations need to be voiced in front of a professional, and thought must be given into whether those expectations can be met within the family that that person belongs to.

If the family is way too conservative for the girl in terms of their mindset, the alliance needs to be dropped then and there. What’s too “broad minded” for one person may be the norm for another.

We live in the age of educated illiterates. We probably need to give some thought into what a divine relationship like a marriage has turned into. And why any independent woman would want to step into it, if it could curb their progress.

You taught her not to gamble. Then why are you doing that in the name of her marriage?

Image source: Still from Kalank

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