CHENNAI: Against the backdrop of high incidence of child marriages across South Asian countries, the Feminist Inquiries into Rights and Equality (FIRE) has organized a conference on the holistic approaches required to prevent child marriages.
The panelists, while recognizing contribution of child marriage laws, said the recent shift towards stringency raises some serious concerns. They opined that the focus is now on criminalization of persons, especially minors, and prosecution has shifted attention away from issues, including absence of quality education, failure to provide safety and security for girls, and lack of livelihood opportunities for women.
“While root causes of child marriage arise from poverty, marginalization and insecurity, the transformation of material conditions and empowering girls might be a more effective solution than a predominant focus on the marriage age,” they said. Swagata Raha, legal researcher, said that the law recommends no therapy for the problem.
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