Love, Labour and Law
This is a 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 15–17 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 women’s agency within the context of the Indian marriage system.
Sen, Samita and Anindita Ghosh. Love, Labour and Law: Early and Child Marriage in India. Sage Publications, 2020.