Your search keywords:

Proposal to prevent child marriage

Proposal to prevent child marriage

A resolution proposal requiring couples to obtain a certificate of reaching 20 years of age before marriage has been registered in the House of Representatives on Monday.

The proposal has been registered to prevent child marriages across the country, said Parliamentarian  Chanda Chaudhary. As per Unicef, Nepal has the third highest rate of child marriage in Asia—for both girls and boys.  Although the legal age of unions for both sexes is 20, more than a third of young women aged 20-24 report that they were married by the age of 18, and just over one in ten by 15.

Article 39 (5) of the Constitution states that no child shall be subjected to child marriage, transported illegally and kidnapped or taken hostage. As per Nepal Demographic Health Survey 2022, in Nepal, women marry earlier than men. The median age at first marriage is 18.3 years among women aged 25–49 and 22.3 years among men aged 25–49. Twelve percent of women aged 25–49 were first married by age 15, as compared with one percent of men.

 Forty-seven percent of women aged 25–49 were first married by age 18, while the corresponding figure among men is only 14 percent. Poverty, the low value attached to daughters, and lack of access to education are contributory factors behind child marriage in Nepal. As per National Penal Code 2017 (Section 173), no marriage shall be concluded or cause to be concluded unless parties to the marriage have attained twenty years of age. The code has prescribed a punishment of imprisonment of up to three years for child marriage.