Indonesia raises minimum marriable age for women

Indonesia’s parliament has revised the law to lift the minimum marriageable age for women to 19 years.

A move welcomed by campaigners, the law revision to lift the minimum marriageable age of women to 19 is seen as a major step towards curbing child marriage in the country.

According to a 2016 report by Indonesia’s Statistics Agency and the United Nations children’s fund UNICEF, one in four girls in Indonesia is married before they turn 18.

Indonesia previously allowed girls of 16 to get married or younger — with no minimum age — if their parents requested it. Child marriage in Indonesia has been blamed for causing maternal and infant deaths, as well as encouraging child labour.

Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Yohana Yembise said in a statement: “Finally, after 45 years (of the existing marriage law). This is a present for Indonesian children.”

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