Gov’t Raises Minimum Age of Marriage to 19 y.o
Date 15 September 2019
The factions in the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR) approved the Government’s proposal to increase the minimum age for marriage to 19 years-old.
The approval was conveyed by the House of Representatives factions during the Working Committee Meeting (Panja) of the Marriage Bill with Minister of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection (PPPA) Yohana Yembise along with the ranks at Nusantara I Building, Indonesian Parliament, Jakarta, Thursday (12/9).
Yohana expressed that she was very grateful and relieved to hear the decision. According to her, the decision was highly anticipated by the people of Indonesia, to save children from child marriage that are very detrimental to children, families, and the country.
“This is a result of our struggle and hard works. Finally after 45 years, there is an amendment to the marriage law for the sake of the future of Indonesian children as excellent human resources and the Indonesian Golden Generation of 2045,” Yohana said.
On behalf of the Government, the Minister is also very supportive so that the Bill can be immediately discussed at the second level and be passed into law at the Plenary Meeting, maximum this September. This is her request to represent the voices of Indonesian children.
“The decision to rise the marriage age to 19 years-old is taken considering by that age, a child already has matured body and soul to run a good marriage, to raise healthy children, without end up in a divorce,” Yohana said.
She expressed hope that the increasing minimum age for marriage can reduce the risk of maternal and child mortality, and fulfill children’s rights to optimize their growth and development.
Considerations for raising the age limit, continued Yohana, have also been explained in an academic paper prepared by Ministry of PPPA along with 18 ministries / institutions and more than 65 community institutions in June 2019. The paper was written through various theoretical studies, empirical practices, and studies of the Implications of New System.
The discussion meeting of this Bill was held to follow up the Presidential Letter on 6 September 2019 on Amendment to the Marriage Law sent to the Chairman of the DPR. The changes on the Marriage Law which following up the Constitutional Court (MK) of the Republic of Indonesia Decree Number 22 / PUU-XV / 2017 which revised Article 7 paragraph (1) of Law No. 1 of 1974 that wrote “Marriage is only permitted if men and women have reached the age of 19 years.”
The conclusions of the discussion of the Amendment Bill to Law Number 1 of 1974 on Marriage agreed at the meeting, related to Article 7 paragraph (1) to (4), among others:
1. Marriage is only permitted if men and women have reached 19 (nineteen) years of age.
2. In the event of a deviation from the age requirement referred to in paragraph (1), the male parent and / or female parent may request a dispensation from the Court stated that it is urgent supported by evidences.
3. The granting of dispensation by the Court as referred to in paragraph (2) must listen to the opinions of the bride and groom candidates who are going to get married.
4. Provisions regarding the condition of one or both parents of the bride as referred to in Article 6 paragraph (3) and paragraph (4) shall also apply the provisions concerning dispensation requests as referred to in paragraph (2) without prejudice to the provisions as referred to in Article 6 paragraph (6).
(PR of Ministry of Women’s Empowerment and Child Protection/ES)
Translated by: Estu Widyamurti
Edited by: Yuyu Mulyani