Jumat , 19 May 2017, 21:00 WIB

Child marriage in Indonesia reaches 43 percents

Rep: Agus Yulianto, Sri Handayani/ Red: Reiny Dwinanda
Antara/Noveradika
Women and Child Protection Ministry and Religious Affairs Ministry tried to increase the age limit for marriage from 16 years old to 18. (Illustration)
Women and Child Protection Ministry and Religious Affairs Ministry tried to increase the age limit for marriage from 16 years old to 18. (Illustration)

REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA -- Minister of Women and Child Protection Yohana Yambise met the Minister of Religious Affairs Lukman Hakim Saifuddin to discuss child marriage. Both ministers tried to increase the age limit for marriage from 16 years old to 18. 

In chapter 2 article 7 verse 1 of the Law No. 1 in 1974 on marriage, it was mentioned that marriage was only allowed for men over the age of 19 years old and women over the age of 16 years old. In fact, Yohana said 43 percent of the total marriage involved women under 18 years old. 

Yohana said it was a serious issue Indonesia. Therefore the ministries tried to increase the age limit to be 18 years old. Yohana was accompanied by Deputy of Child Protection Pribudiarta Nur Sitepu and Deputy of Child Growth Lenny Rosalin.

The institution cooperated with Ministry of Religious Affairs as the formal institution to handle regulation on marriage. 

Yohana said she ever tried to propose the increase of age limit of marriage to Constitutional Court (MK). But, the proposal of judicial review was rejected. 

Lukman said there were many similar requests came to the ministry, especially to increase the age limit of marriage for women. The ministry had asked the reason of judicial review rejection to MK’s judges. 

The judges said that age limitation was under the authority of legislature, such as the House of Representatives and the government. They said it was better to take legislative review, not the judicial. 

Lukman gave two options, through the House of Representatives or the government. It would be increased by revising the Law No. 1 in 1974 or substitute legislation. He said it was better to revise the law. Some community organizations were also tried to do the same things. 

However, the minister reminded that there was a point of view said higher age limitation of marriage might trigger more free sex cases. “The limit of mature is dynamic. Nowadays, 18 years old people are seen as mature enough to married. But, ten or twenty years later, we never now whether it is still relevant,” he said.