TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian government believes that underage marriages are among the factors contributing to the high maternal deaths, which are driven by mothers’ reproductive organs that have yet to reach the maturity to endure childbirth.
The data from the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) stated that one of four women in Indonesia was wed under the age of 18 years of age in 2008-2015.
Meanwhile, the data from University of Indonesia’s (UI) gender and sexuality study in 2015 revealed the country’s underage marriage ranked second in Southeast Asia, with roughly 2 million girls in Indonesia under 15 years of age tying the knot, and thus dropping out of school. The figure is expected to grow to 3 million in 2030.
The data from the Ministry of Women's Empowerment and Child Protection (KPPPA) recorded 1,348,866 girls under 18 years of age took the plunge in 2018. They also revealed that roughly 300,000 girls in Indonesia pledged their troth before they reached the age of 16.
Poverty is one of the many factors that have driven teens or Millenials to underage marriages. KPPPA Minister Yohana Susana Yembise said that girls from financially poor families were twice more likely to be married off at a young age.
“An underage marriage is identical to an arranged marriage by their parents in the name of economics,” said Minister Yohana.