August 8, 2019 07:00 PM NPT
By: Arjun Oli
NEPALGUNJ, Aug 8: Women from Madhesi and the Muslim communities have protested in Nepalgunj on Thursday demanding to marry off their daughters at the age of 16.
Their demonstration came as a response against the recently introduced legal provision which demands both the girls and boys to attain the age of 20 to be eligible for marriage. If anyone found marrying or involved in marrying others off below the legal age bar, s/he will be sanctioned with a three-year jail term and thirty thousand fines, the new provision reads.
The women claimed that the law has come up against their age-long tradition and culture. They strongly urged for timely correction. They said that their movement will continue until their demands are met.
Binita Khatik, one of the attendants at the protest said, “We have a practice of marrying the daughters off at the age of 16 which we think appropriate. How can parents keep their grown-up daughters till they reach 20?"
"They may elope if we fail to perform marital rituals before they attain 16, and that goes against our established tradition", Khatik added.
Scores of women attended the protest which hampered the regular activities of Nepalgunj Sub-metropolitan Office, as well as vehicular movement in Surkhet road, which was also obstructed.
Women had earlier submitted their letter of memorandum to the district administration, sub-metropolitan, various rural municipalities and ward offices.