Target: Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India
Goal: Demand stricter regulations against the illegal marriages of girls under the age of 18.
The practice of marrying daughters under the age of 18 was made illegal in India with a law in 1978. Since then, the rate of illegal marriages of girls below the age of 18 dropped dramatically. However, India still has the highest number of child brides in the world. These reportedly large numbers of girls getting illegally married off before the age of 18 in India indicates that current laws are not enough to deter this illegal practice.
Young mothers face many possible health hazards from giving birth at young ages. Girls who give birth before the age of 15 years are around five times more likely to die in childbirth than women who give birth in their 20s. The risk of young mothers giving birth also affects the infants. Infants of mothers under 18 years of age are at a 60 percent greater risk of dying in their first year of life than infants born from mothers above the age of 19. Despite these many risks of fatalities, many parents still illegally marry off their daughters at young ages.
In addition to health issues related to underage marriages, other issues such as individual considerations are evident. Girls who get married early in life are usually not able to access educational opportunities and embark on their own individual goals in life.
By signing the petition below, you are urging the prime minister of India to work toward enforcing stricter regulations to ensure that the illegal practice of child brides is abolished more effectively.
Dear Prime Minister Narendra Modi,
The fact that the illegal act of marrying off girls under the age of 18 still persists is quite despicable. Even though underage marriages were made illegal in 1978 in India, parents are still subjecting their daughters to this act. Although great improvements have come about from the law, and the rate of underage marriages decreased considerably over the years, there is much that can still be done to combat this problem.
Please work to stop this illegal act from continuing in India, which contributes to issues of underage girls getting pregnant. Many health issues are associated with girls becoming pregnant at young ages, which presents danger for not only the young mothers, but also for the infants.
[Your Name Here]
Photocredit: Prakhar Amba