After 45 Years, Indonesia Outlawed Child Marriage In A Major Win For Gender Equality

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The Indonesian parliament has unanimously agreed to raise the legal minimum age at which girls can marry to 19.

After 45 Years, Indonesia Outlawed Child Marriage In A Major Win For Gender Equality

The Indonesian parliament has unanimously agreed to raise the legal minimum age at which girls can marry to 19. This move comes after decades of campaigning and will help advance gender equality and close legal loopholes which have enabled the issue of child marriage to remain pervasive in the country.


Although the legal marriage age for both women and men is officially 21, several loopholes have allowed girls as young as 16 and boys as young as 19 to marry with parental consent. That law also allowed girls of any age to be married off with permission from local authorities and religious courts.


Indonesia has the 8th highest number of child brides worldwide, with 14% of girls married before 18 and over 3 million before age 15, as UNICEF reports. The minister noted that child marriage in the country has been associated with higher rates of maternal and infant deaths and child labor too.


This new law comes after the country’s highest court declared in 2018 that the current legislation around the minimum age of marriage discriminates against girls. According to the Global Citizen, the ruling required the government to raise the legal minimum age in the following three years, but didn’t specify by how much.


Though the new law is a huge win for the rights of girls in the region, advocates say that there is still more work to be done.


Child marriage has been a social norm in Indonesia for many years, and the cultural beliefs which promote the practice are still widely accepted.


The Indonesian parliament’s united decision has spurred greater hopes of a more equal future for girls in Indonesia.

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Thinking Humanity: After 45 Years, Indonesia Outlawed Child Marriage In A Major Win For Gender Equality
After 45 Years, Indonesia Outlawed Child Marriage In A Major Win For Gender Equality
The Indonesian parliament has unanimously agreed to raise the legal minimum age at which girls can marry to 19.
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