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Should the age of consent in sexual relationships be done away?
Is not mental maturity more important than physical maturity? Well, today girls are becoming sexually mature earlier due to current education, communication, and information system but how many people would agree that girls in their early teens are mentally mature too?

THE DRAFT is in its final stage, and the Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Bill is of the opinion that the age of consent clause should be removed. The Union Ministry of Women and Child Welfare are working to do away with the age of consent in case of sexual abuse with girls aged between 16 and 18 years. The present age of consent clause should be treated as irrelevant up to the age of 18 years and below that age, an individual is considered as a child. This means that if the Bill is passed in the Parliament, any sexual relationship with an individual girl child aged below 18 years will be considered as rape, whether it is with or without consent.


"I think the increase in age of consent is needed in our country. There are too many teens in semi-urban and rural India married off at below 18 years. This brings early pregnancy and consequent health problems, which we should avoid in the view of populations," said Anamika Dung, a health care worker in government hospital.

"The legal age of marriage is 18 years; there is nothing wrong in the clause. The first pirority should be to protect child from sexual abuse. To ensure that child should not be victimise and justice must be deliver timely, but India needs to change some laws," said Sheena Batra, a practicing lawyer in High Court.

Is mental maturity not more important than physical relationship? Well, today girls are becoming sexually mature earlier due to current education, communication, and information system but how many people would agree that girls in their early teens are mentally mature too? In most parts of the country, awareness of education is missing to take decision related to sexual relationships, early pregnancy, and life. In modern society, the girls need to have an education on premature sex that might stop them to grow up into an independent human being. The sense of emotional maturity is subjective one.

"This is just gimmick, the case may be considered as rape. However, question is that what our government is doing to punish rapist. In most of cases, rapists are moving scot-free," said Gunjita Sharma, a college student.

"In my view, self-defence and martial arts are best ways to control rape cases. All women should learn it on a mandatory basis. Second, I think timely sex education will help to raise girls in menatlly strong human being. I cannot expect laws to give justice to all girl-childs because of our corrupt judiciary and police adminsitration. Only way is that the media come forward to highlights all rape cases and woman organisation should take the matter on roads," concluded Aarti Kolhapure, Convenor for Child Rights.
 


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