In Indonesia, the general consensus is that if a girl has any association with a boy to whom she is not related, they marry as soon as possible. The assumption is that any heterosexual relationship can and will lead to sex and pregnancy. Girls are often pressured into marriage at a young age.
The New Movement and Its Implications
Indonesia’s 1974 Marriage Law permits girls as young as age 16 to get married. However, under Indonesia’s 2002 child protection law, anyone under the age of 18 is considered a child. These competing laws create a situation where girls still marry young despite legally being children.
The Future for Indonesia
Child marriage remains a problem in Indonesia even as the world enters a new decade. Girls feel pressured to marry young and may not wait until the legal age to do so. Therefore, the country still needs to work to change the attitudes of its citizens. However, if Indonesia ends child marriage by raising the minimum age required to marry, maybe it will help encourage these girls to stay in school.
– Cassie Parvaz
Photo: Wikimedia Commons