Make age of marriage a matter of choice, not law, says Oxfam India with this edutainment music video.
Oxfam India's musical collaboration with Agents of Ishq pushes for creating enabling environment for girls through better education, healthcare, and livelihoods than a reductive measure like increasing the age of marriage.
New Delhi: Oxfam India and Agents of Ishq have joined hands to create a more nuanced discussion on the government's push to delay the girls’ age of marriage. The song calls for #SorryThankYouTataByeBye to patriarchy and demands a greater voice for girls from decision-makers in matters related to their life such as the age of marriage.
The video song which has been made under Oxfam India’s #EmpowermentNotAge campaign will be used by communities, social media influencers, digital platforms, and feminist groups across India to show that improving young women’s lives through better education, employment opportunities, safety from violence, and increased agency all directly contribute to delaying marriage. The song comes in the backdrop of the United Nations’ 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence held from 25 November to 10 December every year. The global theme for 2021 is “Orange the World: End Violence against Women Now!”.
“We need to take a hard look at ground realities and violence faced by women and girls every day in India. Reductive measures like laws raising the minimum age of marriage for young women from 18 to 21 may look like a progressive step at the outset but it will end up criminalizing families of 63% women in India who get married under the age of 21. Oxfam India is asking government and society to address systemic challenges faced by girls to create discrimination and violence-free environment for them through this song,” said Oxfam India CEO Amitabh Behar.
Check out the song:
The six-minute-long video song tries to convince youth, civil society, masses and governments to grasp the complexity of the issue of age of marriage for girls, choice, and agency. It also hopes to trigger a nuanced discussion of the issue of raising the age of marriage as the decision will disproportionately affect women and girls from Dalit and Adivasi communities.
“India is a country of songs and singing, and songs have the power to tell big truths in a relatable and emotionally resonant way. Young women describing their frustrations as well as expressing their desires for their lives in a playful, engaging music video, centralizes their perspectives in the popular domain. This helps trigger open conversations across generations and genders, and creates a culture that empowers girls organically. If a song gives you pleasure, its ideas are more likely to become your ideas and ideas change the world,” said Paromita Vohra, filmmaker and founder of Agents of Ishq.
Amita Prite, Lead, Gender Justice at Oxfam India said, “The government data itself shows us that child marriage is reducing due to increase in education, skilling, healthcare and jobs. When girls can study further and earn money, it causes a change in attitude and a willingness to invest in them and delay their marriages. We urge everyone to use this song and work towards holistic development of girls and women to delay their marriage.”