According to this NFHS report, the proportion of women who have started childbearing rises sharply from 5 per cent at 17 years to 18 per cent among women aged 18 years. This further jumps to 31 per cent among women aged 19 years. This has been more prevalent among the oppressed and weaker sections of the society. The national average of childbearing among women aged 15-19 – that is, they have already had a live birth or are pregnant with their first child – is 6.8%.
The NFHS-5 data also revealed that nearly one-third of women (29.3%) aged 20-24 years married before reaching the age of 18 years in Andhra Pradesh. This has been higher than the all-India average of 23.3%. Also, in terms of rural-urban segregation in the state, rural areas had a higher number of cases with 32.9% than urban areas with 21.7%.
According to a study conducted by the Child Rights and You (CRY) NGO in 2022, child marriage is still regarded as an important custom for 52 per cent of parents and parents-in-law in Andhra Pradesh. Only 22 per cent parents and parents-in-law are aware of the negative consequences of child marriage.
Fear of girls eloping or having `love affair’ leading to premarital sex and pregnancy emerged as dominant reasons why parents prefer to marry off their daughters as soon as they reach puberty. Lower dowry, the patriarchal construct of ‘women’s honour’, etc. are also reasons behind high prevalence of child marriage, the study suggested.
Andhra Pradesh State Commission for Protection of Child Rights member Gondu Seetharam said that the commission has been conducting awareness sessions on the negative effects of child marriages.
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The life expectancy of women in certain Indian states is higher than that of men, according to a report by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA). The report highlights the aging population in India and provides data on the demographic and socioeconomic status of the elderly. It reveals that women in states like Rajasthan, Haryana, Gujarat, Uttarakhand, Kerala, Himachal Pradesh, and Jammu & Kashmir can expect to live more than 20 years after the age of 60. The report also predicts that the percentage of elderly people in India will double to over 20% of the total population by 2050.
The high court in Kochi invoked its jurisdiction to select a name for a child caught in a dispute between her parents. The court stated that the child’s welfare was the most important consideration and that a name was necessary for her well-being and education. After considering various factors, the court decided on the name Punya Balagangadharan Nair or Punya B Nair, incorporating both parents’ names. The court ordered all necessary formalities to be completed.
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