Nepal Plans to Lower Age at Marriage

Santosh Sharma Poudel - The Diplomat

At a parliament meeting on June 15, Nepal’s Law and Justice Minister Govinda Bandi announced that the government is preparing to lower the legal age of marriage.

“One gets citizenship at 16 and voting rights at 18,” Bandi pointed out. Consequently, allowing people to get married only when they turn 20 doesn’t make sense. Bandi also claimed that the current legal age of marriage “has increased crimes.” Those who get married earlier “are being punished for child marriage,” he said.

If either or both partners are below 20 years, then that marriage is not recognized as legal in Nepal. Currently, Nepal’s marriageable age is among the highest in the world.