Friday, 19 April 2019 | 10:10 WIB

Child Marriage Rate Soars, Minister Yohana to Revise Marriage Law

Minister of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection (PPPA) Yohana Yembise

JAKARTA, NNC -  Minister of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection (PPPA) Yohana Yembise is very concerned about the high rate of child marriage in Indonesia.

The matter was addressed by Yohana during a Media Discussion entitled 'Child Marriage' at the Millennium Hotel on Monday, Aug 6.

"The high rate of child marriage is due to the low level of education, high poverty rates, applicable socio-cultural norms, and gender inequality in a family," Yohana said.

According to Yohana, child marriage is also identical to arranged marriage by parents for economic reasons. Girls from poor families are twice as likely to be the victims of child marriage.

He explained the impact of child marriage, including disruption of health and child development, education, family resilience, even the worst is the increase in divorce rates and maternal mortality rates.

Therefore, Yohana proposed a revision of the bill of Law No.1 of 1974 concerning Marriage. The substance is to increase the age marriage limit, which is over the child age or 18 years and ideally above 21 years, limit marital dispensation, and add articles to prevent child marriage.

As known, the phenomenon of child marriage in Indonesia is relatively high. Whereas it is clearly stated in Law No.1 Year 1974 on Marriage, which limits the age of marriage for men to be at least 19 years of age and 16 years of age for women.

Data from the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) states that 1 in 4 girls in Indonesia gets married below 18 years of age from 2008 to 2015. A recorded of 1,348,886 girls are married under the age of 18 in 2012.

Every year, some 300,000 girls in Indonesia marries under the age of 16. Although the rate of child marriage continues to decline every year, its still considered very slow.