On 17th September 2021 , Rajasthan govt passed a bill to amend the act on mandatory registration of Child marriage.
This act includes child marriages
Under the act Registration of Marriages Act, 2009,information on child marriage must be registered by their parents or guardians within 30 days of the wedding.
This new bill was not well received by the opposition govt as, it will legalize child marriages in Rajasthan.
Although the act might seem as if it will promote child marriages, by legalizing them, this act may not be all what we think it is.
Why is it important to register child marriages
Shanti Kumar Dhariwal (Parliamentary Affairs Minister) tried explaining how thatthis bill will only allow the registration of the child marriages, but won’t legalize the child marriages ,it won’t validate the marriage and actions can still be taken against child marriages.
This act will not legalize child marriage but will register the child marriages , this act might help to track down all the child marriages that happen.
Have we been able to stop child marriages in India till now?
Most child marriages that happen obviously don’t get registered at least till both the groom and the bride have reached the right age for marriage.
Making it hard for the officers to track down child marriages.
Even after the (PCMA) according to NFHS-4 data the prevalence of child marriage amongst 15- 16 year old girls is 16.2 %. Most of these happen in the rural areas as the prevalence there is 18.7% whereas in urban areas it is 7.6%.
Through registrations of marriages the child marriages will also be highlighted to the govt.
This act could lower the prevalence of child marriages, if the right actions are taken against child marriages, by the govt and the officers.
Other benefits of this act
Non registered marriages lead to women finding themselves in bigamous marriages, without their knowledge for a long time.
This act willprevent non consentual polygomy , unless permitted by any law.
This will enable married women to claim their right on property and shelter thus, not letting the men desert them .
Overall more transparency will be ensured through this act and more functional working of the govt can be assured, if the govt takes the registrations seriously.