Friday Aug 12, 2022
Friday Aug 12, 2022

Marriages in Nepal: Sacred Bond or Cultural Confine?

In Nepal, according to the Criminal Act 2017, the marriageable minimum age for both males and females is 20 years old

2022 Apr 05, 7:59,
Photo: Pinterest

Back then, for a woman, marriage meant everything and was a surefire way for them to know that they have enough to eat, financial support to raise children and most of all shelter over their heads. But mostly, it played a significant psychological role for women where their sense of self in a way nothing else could was defined.

It has been said that the globally accepted minimum age for marriage for both males and females is 18 years. In Nepal, the Criminal (Code) Act (2017) has formally adopted 20 years as the minimum age for marriage. Before, people used to get married at an early age. However, it is not been the same lately. They are breaking the taboo, and getting married even after their 30s.

According to Shilpa Chhetri, she says, “I am 28 years old and unmarried. More than my parents, my neighbours and relatives are more concerned about my marriage. They asked my parents until when would you keep your daughter with you? Aren’t you worried that she is still unmarried?”

“It’s not like that I don’t want to marry at all, it’s just that I want to marry when I am ready, not when my relatives want me to”, she adds. When it comes to marriage, women are mostly pressured to get married as soon as they cross 20, thinking that if they don’t marry before they reach their 30s, then no men would want to marry her or won’t get a suitable partner for their daughters.

According to Chhetri, being born and raised in a Nepali society, it is hard to convince your parents for late marriage. Some of them are understanding but some of them are not. “I know every parent wants good for their children, they want to see them living happily ever after. But for me, I want to make my career, stand up on my feet and take responsibility for my parents when they grow old, even after I get married”, adds further.

Likewise, a father blessed with two daughters, Yadav Bantawa says that, “My daughters who have grown up too fast, the last thing I want to do is get them married off in a rush. On the contrary, they have their own freedom to choose who and when they marry.”

“Honestly, sometimes I get selfish thoughts; I don’t want to share them with some other family. But what I do insist on, however, is my daughters be financially independent before they get hitched to a life partner. With education and financial independence, they can hold their own anywhere”, he adds.

More than getting daughters married off, half-educated at an early age actually puts them at a risk of being completely dependent on their husbands or inlaws and as well as being physically and mentally unprepared for their nuptial and/or motherhood responsibilities.

21 years old Sabya Shrestha explains, “Though I’ve crossed my 20s, I haven’t even thought about getting married yet. I would think about it when I start doing a job and become independent.” Adding more, “My parents are also supportive and want to see their daughter being a successful businesswoman. I love the fact that we women are getting our heads straight for what we want and what we don’t.”


woman Marriage financial support psychological role Parents unmarried criminal act Daughters financially independent independence physically Mentally successful businesswoman
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