New Delhi [India]: Chairperson of the National Commission for Women Rekha Sharma on Friday called for increasing the marriageable age in all religions to 21 and said that the laws for the welfare of women should be the same.
"In every religion minimum marriageable age should be increased to 21 and should not be different according to religion. Why should Muslim girls not have proper education why should their health be compromised by marrying them off early? Laws for the welfare of women should be the same," she said in a tweet.
The Centre has reportedly cleared the bill in the cabinet to increase the minimum age of marriage of a girl from 18 to 21.
Commenting on the issue, Samajwadi Party MP ST Hasan said that girls should be married when they attain the age of fertility.
"The fertility age of women ranges from 16-17 years to 30 years. Proposals for marriage start coming at the age of 16. If the marriage is delayed, there are two disadvantages: One is the possibility of infertility. The second is that children are not settled when one is ageing. When you are in your last decade or so of life, your children are still students. We are breaking the natural cycle."
"I believe that when a girl is mature and attains the age of fertility, she should get married. If a girl is mature at 16, she can get married at 16. If she can vote at 18, why can't she get married?" he asked.
However, Samajwadi Party chief Akhilesh Yadav distanced himself from his party MP's remarks and said his party is a progressive and had launched schemes for the development of girls and women.
"Samajwadi Party has nothing to do with any such statements," he said.
Later, responding to the statements, Union Minister of Parliamentary Affairs Pralhad Joshi said the law was progressive, so why should we make so much noise about it.
"Let discussions be held. What are his apprehensions? It is a progressive law. We have said let there be a discussion. Why make so much noise?" Joshi said. (ANI)