Bangkok – March 8th, 2019
The representative of YLBHI was speaking at the FORUM ASIA Dialogue on Women’s Rights and Gender Equality at Sheraton Grande, Bangkok, Thailand. It was to celebrate the International Womens Day.
At the Dialogue, YLBHI raised its concern over Indonesi’s marriage law of 1974 that outlined the minimum age for girls to get married at 16 years old, where mostly in rural areas, this has caused 13% of Indonesian girls getting married in the age of 16-18. This has surely brought negative impact for girls, who finally dropping out of school, raising children and stay as household. No chance for them to get higher education neither career.
YLBHI added that in December 2018, Indonesia Constitutional Court has ruled that the provision on minimum age for girls as stipulated in the marriage law is not constitutional. The court said it was in contradiction with the law on child protection of 2014 that qualify those who are under 18 as children, therefore must not be subject to early marriage. The government was ordered to adjust the minimum age for girls that go along with the child protection law.
YLBHI also highlight what a regional organization like Forum Asia could do in promoting gender equality and women’s rights. Such organization must bring the issue on gender equality into the attention of Asia’s country leader and key stake holders. Along with all members throughout the Asia region, Forum Asia could call for join movement and campaign in all countries in Asia to move toward better protection and guarantee for gender equality.
In this regard, YLBHI also emphasized that Forum Asia may initiate an exchange of knowledge and practice amongst its member on how to advocate better gender equality policies and practices. Building the capacity of its member to play a bigger role in promoting gender equality and women’s right in each member respective country. (fy)