According to media reports, during the second instance of the draft civil code on marriage and family at the meeting of the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress, some members suggested that the legal age of marriage should be appropriately lowered.
On the discussion platform of the state power organs, the proposal to reduce the legal age of marriage is not the first time. During the two sessions this year, some deputies to the National People's Congress proposed to amend the marriage law and reduce the legal age of marriage for men and women by two years respectively. At the two national sessions in the past two years, representatives and members put forward similar suggestions.
At present, China's law stipulates that men at the age of 22 and women at the age of 20 can get married. Compared with the legal age of marriage in many countries, China's legal age of marriage is obviously late.
From 2013 to 2018, the number of marriage registrations in China has decreased year by year for five consecutive years, directly resulting in the decline of fertility. However, even if the legal marriage age is lowered, I am afraid it will not be able to significantly increase the number of marriage registrations. An obvious fact is that young people are unwilling to marry or have children, not because the legal age limit for marriage is too high, which has hit the willingness of those who have not reached the legal age for marriage.
Of course, lowering the legal age of marriage still has its positive significance of 'empowerment'.
The current legal age of marriage began with the marriage law of 1980, which stipulates that the age of marriage shall not be earlier than 22 for men and 20 for women. Late marriage and late childbearing should be encouraged '. From the first marriage law was promulgated in 1950 to 1980, it was stipulated that "men can get married at the age of 20 and women at the age of 18", which is considered to be "compatible with the political, economic and cultural development level at that time and the people's awareness and acceptance ability".
In 1980, the marriage law raised the legal age of marriage, which undoubtedly had the consideration of controlling the population at that time. With the aging of population becoming a serious social problem, the late legal age of marriage has lost the positive significance of population regulation.
Marriage right is a basic civil right. An adult with full civil capacity should have the right to choose whether to marry or not. Reducing the legal age of marriage is conducive to the implementation of basic civil rights and endows' adulthood 'with richer connotation. Contemporary young people are physically and mentally mature early and have the ability to make rational decisions on marriage events.
If the legal age for marriage is lowered, some people are worried that there will be a large number of young people who are not old enough to get married. I'm afraid it's groundless. Today, not only are young people delaying their first marriage age, but their willingness to marry is also declining. Many young adults are still receiving education and do not have the objective conditions for marriage.
Some rural remote areas do have the phenomenon of low-age marriage for a long time, and the current legal age of marriage does not play a too restrictive role. Modify the legal marriage age and promote the legalization of such factual marriage, so as to better safeguard the rights of marriage parties, master more accurate social information and defend the authority of the law.
If the proposal to reduce the legal age of marriage is adopted and established as a legal right, although there will be no large-scale low-age marriage tide, even if only a few young people exercise their rights, the social mechanism should also be fully guaranteed.
For example, if a woman marries and gives birth at the age of 18, she may face the problem of academic interruption. In order to protect her right to education, the school she attended should retain her student status and extend the number of years she completed her studies. At present, many domestic colleges and universities generally require 4-year undergraduates to complete their studies within 6 years, while for girls who give birth during the undergraduate period, 6 years is probably still a tight time.
For another example, the economic income of young couples is generally low, and campus couples have no stable economic income. Although it is said that marriage between men and women is a major event, and both parties should fully consider their own material basis and economic ability when making the decision to marry, society should not do nothing when it involves the issue of giving birth to the next generation. Providing reproductive support and comprehensive security for young couples is not only conducive to the implementation of citizens' reproductive rights and reproductive welfare, but also can stimulate the society to improve their reproductive will. This agenda should be discussed as soon as possible, whether or not the legal age of marriage is reduced.
Lowering the legal age of marriage is not only a formal adjustment of figures, but also a test of the coping ability of the whole society. Therefore, it is understandable that relevant departments are more cautious in making decisions and policies. However, since similar opinions have repeatedly appeared on the discussion platform of the National People's Congress, we should encourage wider discussion and promote the progress of the relevant agenda. Choosing whether to marry or not is a private right, which should not be excessively interfered by policies and laws, but defending the right of marriage should become the conscious consciousness of every member of society.
Source: China Youth Daily