Love, Labour and Law: Early and Child Marriage in India is a path-breaking book on an issue that has not been analysed in depth for a while, perhaps since it does not affect the elite. Today, the child brides are usually from poor families. They are of 1517 years as compared to much younger brides in the earlier times. The book discusses why child marriages persist despite numerous legislative and policy initiatives to eliminate the practice. The chapters examine social and legal reforms to raise the age of marriage; contemporary education and health-related policy attempts at prevention; relationship of child marriage with child labour, sex work, human trafficking and other issues. Increasingly, there is greater resistance to marriages arranged by parents from the child brides themselves who can now access institutional and bureaucratic support. How hopeful are these developments? The book goes beyond a simple policy focus on elimination and provides a much-needed understanding of marriage and womens agency within the context of the Indian marriage system.

Governing Child Marriage in India: The Protracted Reform Process

  • By: Mark Bevir, Arpana Bhat, , A Dhillon, Francis Fukuyama, E Gonsalves, Ruchira Goswami, Elvira Graner, Elvira Graner, S. Parasuraman, Nishi Mitra, , Nurul Islam, Asaduzzaman, M.E John, B. Suresh Lal, , Pratibha P Menon, , A. M Moore, Minh Cong Nguyen, Quentin Wodon, D.C North, D.C North, J. Harriss, B. Guy Peters, B. Guy Peters, A Raj, Helen Roberts, Raj Coomar Roy, Jaya Sagade, Vinita Salvi, K.G Santhya, Samita Sen, K Sethuraman, Cavan Sieczkowski, Renu Singh, Susheela Singh, E Sørensen, J Torfing, S Tewari & K. P Yadav
  • In:Love, Labour and Law: Early and Child Marriage in India
  • Chapter DOI:
  • Subject:Culture & History, General Sociology, South Asia Studies
  • Keywords:child marriages; girls; governance; India; reform

Governing Child Marriage in India: The Protracted Reform Process

Governing child marriage in india: The protracted reform process

CONCERNS ABOUT CHILD marriages in India have quite a pronounced history, dating back to the late nineteenth century (see Chapter 1). It is apparent that for the past decades, there has been a gradual shift to address child marriage from a human rights perspective. Early debates about child marriage were closely linked to public discussions about the need for legislation to ban it, triggered by a rather tragic case. Back in 1890 a young girl in Bengal had bled to death at the tender age of 11 years and 3 months, after her husband had ‘consummated’ their marriage. This case was debated not only in India but ...

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