The National Federation of Indian Women (NFIW) has expressed serious concern about the Indian Government’s refusal to sign the first-ever United Nations global resolution on early and forced marriage of children.

The women’s group is of the opinion that child marriage is a very serious issue in India and is one of the major reasons for the high maternal and infant mortality rates.

“Child marriage denies children all the rights that are enshrined in the Constitution. This leads to greater marginalisation of women in India. The distancing from signing the UN resolution by the UPA-2 Government shows that the concerns expressed by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh about the safety and protection of women after the December 16 incident lack sincerity,” said NFIW general secretary Annie Raja.

She said it seemed that for the government violence against women means only sexual violence.

“UPA-2 does not have the political will and social commitment to see that women enjoy their constitutional rights equally,” added Ms. Raja.

The federation urged the government to not play vote bank politics with the lives of women and children.

It has asked the Central Government to explain to the people, especially the women and children of this country, why it did not sign the UN resolution.

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