Left Menu
Development News Edition

Indonesia inches closer to outlawing child marriage

Reuters | Kuala Lumpur | Updated: 13-09-2019 19:56 IST | Created: 13-09-2019 19:52 IST
Indonesia inches closer to outlawing child marriage
Representative image Image Credit: Flickr

Indonesia moved closer to ending child marriage on Friday after the government secured a key nod paving the way to raise the age for girls to wed in the world's most populous Muslim country by three years.

About one in every seven girls in Indonesia is married before the age of 18 and the country is among the 10 countries with the highest numbers of child brides, according to the U.N. children's agency, UNICEF. The government said a parliamentary law committee has agreed to a proposal on raising the minimum marriage age for girls to 19 from the current 16 - a key step before it is put to a vote among lawmakers.

"It's a decision that the Indonesian society has been waiting for to save our children from the practice of child marriage," Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Yohana Yembise said in a statement. The reform has been pushed by lawmakers including those from the ruling party of the Indonesian president Joko Widodo.

Indonesia's Constitutional Court ruled in favor of a petition by women's rights groups last year to change the law after they argued the current rule discriminates against girls, who can marry at 16 whereas the legal age for men is 19. The ruling did not specify an increase and gave legislators three years to decide what the new minimum age should be.

The proposed change would allow exceptions for underage marriage in unspecified "pressing" situations with a court's consent, said researcher Maidina Rahmawati at the non-profit Institute for Criminal Justice Reform. "We ask the government to tighten the restrictions on this but it is a very good start," she told the Thomson Reuters Foundation by phone from Jakarta.

Poverty and tradition often lead families to marry their children in the Southeast Asia archipelago of 260 million people, according to UNICEF. On average over 3,500 Indonesian girls are married every day and in some cases, religious courts have endorsed the marriages of Indonesian girls younger than 16.

Globally, 12 million girls become child brides each year, according to the campaign group Girls Not Brides, exposing them to greater risks of exploitation, sexual violence, domestic abuse and death in childbirth.


TRENDING

OPINION / BLOG / INTERVIEW

Post-COVID-19 Nigeria needs a robust Health Management Information System to handle high disease burden

Nigeria is among a few countries that conceptualised a health management information system HMIS in the early 90s but implementation has been a challenge till date. Besides COVID-19, the country has a huge burden of communicable and non-com...

Morocco COVID-19 response: A fragile health system and the deteriorating situation

Learning from its European neighbors, Morocco imposed drastic measures from the initial stages of the COVID-19 outbreak to try to contain its spread. The strategy worked for a few months but the cases have surged after mid-June. In this sit...

COVID-19: Argentina’s health system inefficiencies exaggerate flaws of health information system

You can recover from a drop in the GDP, but you cant recover from death, was the straightforward mindset of Argentinas President Alberto Fernndez and defined the countrys response to COVID-19. The South American nation imposed a strict...

Rwanda’s COVID-19 response commendable but health information system needs improvement

Rwanda is consistently working to improve its health information system from many years. However, it is primarily dependent on the collection and reporting of health data on a monthly basis. Besides, evaluation studies on Rwandas HIS publis...

Videos

Latest News

Rugby Championship to kick off with Brisbane double-header

The southern hemispheres four-nation Rugby Championship will kick off with world champions South Africa playing Argentina in the first match of a double-header at Brisbanes Lang Park on Nov 7, organisers said on Thursday. Hosts Australia me...

Trump hedges when asked whether he would transfer power peacefully

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday declined to commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the Nov. 3 election to Democratic rival Joe Biden. Were going to have to see what happens, Trump, a Republican, told reporters at the Wh...

Soccer-Wrexham subject of shock bid from Hollywood actor Reynolds and sitcom creator McElhenney

Actors Ryan Reynolds and Rob McElhenney are in talks to invest in Welsh side Wrexham, who play in the fifth tier of English soccer, the clubs supporters trust said on Wednesday. Canadian Reynolds, famed for starring in superhero comedy Dead...

White House will consider executive action to help airlines -Kudlow

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow said on Wednesday the Trump administration will consider executive action to help airlines hurt by the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.We would like very much to help the airlines, Kudlo...

Give Feedback