Government Continues to Perform Inattention

Kompas, page 13, Saturday, Nov 26

The first day of the 16 Day Campaign on Anti Sexual Violence against Women reminded of the lack of strong commitment from the government to stop and prevent child marriages. In fact, the negative impact of the inattention is already visible everywhere.

Dwi Rubiyanti Kholifah representing Barisan Indonesia Beragam which consists of various women’s organizations said the maternal mortality rate (MMR) is 300 per 100,000 births. This prompted Indonesia to fail to achieve the MMR Millennium Development Goals Target in 2015 to be 102 per 100,000 births. The ‘Barisan’ requested the Parliament to ratify the Bill of Justice and Gender Equality and revising Law No. 1/1974 on Marriage which still states a minimum age limit of 16 years for women and 19 years for men.

Chairperson of the Women’s Health Foundation Zumrotin Susilo explained child marriage contributed to the occurrence of teenage pregnancy. It is dangerous because the mother and fetus scramble for nutritional intake. Early marriage, continued Zumrotin, is also a vicious circle of poverty. Dropping out of school due to getting married prompted the children to be lacking in skills. They were then forced to make a living by being housekeepers and and as laborers abroad. These two jobs are also vulnerable to exploitation.

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