Prihatin Tingginya Angka Perkawinan Usia Muda, Kemen PPPA Usulkan Revisi UU Perkawinan

TRIBUNNEWS.COM JAKARTA – Kementerian Pemberdayaan Perempuan dan Perlindungan Anak (PPPA) mengusulkan percepatan kebijakan penyusunan revisi UU No.1 Tahun 1974 tentang Perkawinan.

Pasalnya, Yohana Yembise selaku Menteri PPPA mengaku prihatin melihat tingginya angka perkawinan usia anak di Indonesia.

“Tingginya angka perkawinan usia anak tidak terlepas dari rendahnya tingkat pendidikan, tingginya angka kemiskinan, norma sosial budaya yang berlaku, dan ketidaksetaraan gender dalam keluarga,” ujarnya dalam acara Diskusi Media, bertema ‘Perkawinan Usia Anak’ di Millenium Hotel, Jakarta Pusat, Senin (6/8/2018).

Perkawinan usia anak, ujar MenPPPA Yohana, juga identik dengan perjodohan yang dilakukan oleh orang tua dengan alasan ekonomi.

“Anak-anak perempuan dari keluarga miskin berisiko dua kali lebih besar terjerat dalam perkawinan usia anak,” katanya.

Selain itu, merujuk data BPS yang dihimpun Kemen PPPA, satu dari empat anak perempuan di Indonesia telah menikah pada umur kurang dari 18 tahun pada 2008 hingga 2015.

Tercatat, 1.348.886 anak perempuan telah menikah di bawah usia 18 tahun pada 2012. Bahkan setiap tahun, sekitar 300.000 anak perempuan di Indonesia, menikah di bawah usia 16 tahun.

Untuk itu, MenPPPA Yohana mengatakan bahwa substansi penyusunan revisi UU No.1 Tahun 1974 tentang Perkawinan yaitu menaikkan batas usia perkawinan.

“Yaitu di atas usia anak atau 18 tahun dan idealnya di atas 21 tahun, membatasi dispensasi perkawinan, serta menambah pasal upaya pencegahan perkawinan usia anak,” ujarnya.

Untuk mengatasi hal tersebut, Kemen PPPA telah menginisiasi beberapa strategi, di antaranya, Penyusunan kebijakan nasional tentang pencegahan perkawinan anak; Penyusunan rencana menaikkan batas usia perkawinan dan menghapus dispensasi perkawinan; Kampanye ‘Stop Perkawinan Anak’ sejak 2016; Forum Pencegahan Perkawinan Anak yang ditujukan kepada tokoh agama dan guru; Inisiasi perwujudan Kabupaten/Kota Layak Anak (KLA); Mendorong wajib belajar selama 12 tahun dalam kebijakan; Pembentukan Pusat Pembelajaran Keluarga (PUSPAGA); Meningkatkan akses dan kualitas pendidikan anak; Melibatkan anak sebagai Pelopor dan Pelapor (2P); serta menjalin kemitraan dengan lembaga sosial dan dunia usaha.

“Sudah menjadi tanggung jawab kita semua untuk memutus mata rantai perkawinan usia anak,” katanya.

Artikel ini telah tayang di dengan judul Prihatin Tingginya Angka Perkawinan Usia Muda, Kemen PPPA Usulkan Revisi UU Perkawinan,

Editor: Johnson Simanjuntak


Syrian Child Brides Increasingly Contemplate Suicide

Salwa, a 14 year old girl, remembers chugging bleach for as long as she could. She ignored the burn as it went down her throat, and she tuned out the sound of gunshots outside her window.

But Salwa, a Syrian refugee, wasn’t trying to escape the Syrian war — she was trying to escape her forced marriage.

In Lebanon, nearly 40% of young Syrian refugee girls are being married off by impoverished families who erroneously believe that they are protecting their daughters against sexual assault. Often they are wedded off to much older men who rape and beat them if they refuse to sleep with them.

Such was Salwa’s case. Her drunk husband wanted to have sex, but Salwa said she would be right back. She left the room and tried to poison herself.


 “I returned to the bedroom and thought, this will be the last time,” said Salwa. “When I woke up the next morning, I said, ‘F*ck you, God.’”


The Times of Israel reports that this isn’t an isolated case:

Halima’s death certificate says she fell down the stairs. But according to SB Overseas — an NGO working with Syrian refugees across Lebanon, including Halima’s camp — the 13-year-old actually killed herself.

It started one night in October, when she ran away from her abusive husband at a refugee camp outside Beirut. She fled back to her family and asked if they’d help her divorce him. No way, was their answer, she had to stay with him. So, that night, Halima overdosed on pills.

SB Overseas has noticed how common suicide has become among child brides — and how often families lie about it.

“They cannot admit the decision they made led to this result,” said Veronica Lari, a former spokesperson for SB Overseas. “What happens often is girls disappear completely. We know it’s a consequence of the marriage, but we don’t have any data or news from her. And the family says they don’t know anything.”

Hasan Arfeh, a Syrian journalist, has even noticed the same trend in Syria.

“Parents know their daughter committed suicide, but in small communities in Syria, they hide the issue,” Arfeh said. “They feel ashamed of the community around them. They do not offer the body to the forensic doctor, claiming it is the body of a girl and they have the right not to show it.”

In Lebanon, Syrian girls face an uphill battle against forced marriage. There is no minimum age for marriage in the country as the government allows religious parties to decide. On top of this, martial rape is not criminalized.

Lebanon has also created a rule that Syrians can only work in temporary, low-paying sectors including agriculture, construction and cleaning. With families unable to provide for their children, many parents see marriage as a ticket out of poverty.

Monthly cash support from the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) is one saving grace, but its severely underfunded and only able to reach 13% of Syrian refugees in Lebanon.

Until Syrian families find a way out of poverty, the trend of abused child brides turning to suicide will likely continue.

Child brides like Layla, a 16 year Syrian refugee threw herself into a river knowing she couldn’t swim. Her sister managed to save her.

“I thought, ‘I want to die. It’s better than living this miserable life,’” said Layla.



Remaja Program BERDAYA Cilincing, Jakarta Utara Kampanyekan Cegah Kawin Anak Lewat Lenong

Kabar baik dan menarik datang dari remaja Kalibaru, Cilincing, Jakarta Utara. Para remaja yang bulan lalu (Juni 2018) mendapatkan Training Penguatan Kapasitas Remaja dalam Pencegahan Kawin Anak oleh Program BERDAYA Rumah KitaB baru saja mengadakan pertunjukan lenong di Gedung Kesenian Jakarta. Acara tersebut merupakan acara kerjasama dengan Dinas Pariwisata dan Kebudayaan Provinsi DKI Jakarta yang bertajuk Festival Lenong: Oplet Robet ke 7 dan berlangsung tanggal 16 – 20 Juli 2018.

Dalam festival itu, remaja Kalibaru, Cilincing membawakan tema stop perkawinan anak. Momen tersebut pas karena juga untuk memperingati Hari Anak Nasional yang jatuh tanggal 23 Juli 2018. Andri, ketua karang taruna Kalibaru dan koordinator remaja tersebut mengungkapkan ia terinspirasi dari pelatihan yang diadakan Rumah KitaB atas dukungan AIPJ2 bulan lalu. Ia mengembangkan poin-poin yang didapat selama training menjadi sebuah naskah cerita dan dibuat pertunjukan. “Insya allah kampanye stop kawin anak akan terus kita sosialisasikan lewat pertunjukan”, tegasnya. Lebih lanjut, ia juga mengatakan bahwa akan ada pertunjukan lagi di bulan Agustus yang mana momen tersebut akan dimanfaatkan lagi untuk kampanye stop kawin anak. Andri juga mengungkapkan rasa terima kasihnya atas kegiatan training yang dilakukan Rumah kitaB karena dari hasil pelatihan itu ia mendapat inspirasi untuk membuat suatu cerita dan dapat dipertunjukkan.

Kegiatan sosialisasi tentang pencegahan perkawinan anak melalui seni teater yang dilakukan atas inisiatif Andri dan remaja di Kalibaru ini merupakan salah satu hasil nyata dari kegiatan penguatan kapasitas bagi remaja tentang kawin anak yang dilakukan Rumah KitaB melalui pelatihan. Ini menjadi salah satu kegiatan yang efektif untuk membantu meningkatkan kesadaran dan pengetahuan remaja tentang tema pencegahan perkawinan anak. Oleh karenanya, kegiatan pelatihan masih menjadi satu kegiatan penting yang dibutuhkan dalam kerja-kerja pencegahan kawin anak yang dilaksanakan Rumah KitaB ke depan. Untuk meningkatkan efektivitasnya, Rumah KitaB juga akan melengkapinya dengan kegiatan paska pelatihan berupa pendampingan lebih lanjut kepada kelompok remaja di dalam kegiatan-kegiatan mereka. Dengan pendampingan lanjutan ini, semoga lebih banyak lagi aksi-aksi dari Andri dan teman-temannya dalam sosialisasi dan penyadaran tentang pencegahan perkawinan anak di Kalibaru maupun di Jakarta dan sekitarnya.

Selamat dan sukses selalu untuk Andri dan teman-teman Kalibaru! [Seto/Yooke]



11 and Married: Malaysia Spars Over Child Brides

GUA MUSANG, Malaysia — Norazila and Ayu were best friends and they shared everything that girls do: sleepovers, selfies, musings about cute boys.

But their friendship, which had blossomed in their placid hamlet in northern Malaysia, was destroyed late last month when Norazila, 14, discovered that Ayu, 11, had secretly become her father’s third wife.

“My best friend is my stepmother now,” said Norazila, whose family name is Che Abdul Karim, as she scrolled through her Facebook page filled with posts of the girls posing with adolescent pouts and fingers forming peace signs. “It doesn’t make any sense.”

Ayu’s marriage to Che Abdul Karim Che Abdul Hamid, a 41-year-old rubber trader with a prominent role at his mosque and a fleet of fancy cars, has reignited debate in Malaysia about the persistence of conservative Islamic traditions in this modern, multiethnic democracy.

In its election manifesto, the opposition coalition that won power in May promised to outlaw child marriage.

Nuraini Che Nawi, the first wife of Mr. Che Abdul Karim, showing a photograph of her husband’s marriage to Ayu, his third wife.CreditLauren DeCicca for The New York Times

“This is a practice from many centuries ago and at this stage in Malaysia’s growth and development, child marriage is not acceptable,” said Charles Santiago, a lawmaker with the governing coalition.

But ever since outrage over Ayu’s case erupted on social media in Malaysia — after Mr. Che Abdul Karim’s second wife posted pictures on Facebook of the marriage ceremony with a sarcastic “happy wedding” message to him — critics say the new government, under the guise of religious freedom, has done too little to protect minors.

Malaysia’s deputy prime minister, who also serves as minister of women, family and community development, called the marriage an “alleged incident.” The minister, Wan Azizah Wan Ismail, said last week: “It would be unjust to lynch someone on social media because of how we feel about the issue.”

Ms. Wan Azizah, who has previously expressed opposition to child marriage, declined to discuss Ayu’s case because it involved continuing investigations by several government agencies, including for the crime of sexual grooming.

Last year, Malaysia criminalized sexual grooming, in which an adult creates an emotional bond with a child for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

“The girl is a victim, no doubt about it,” said Latheefa Koya, a prominent human rights lawyer. “Why are we dillydallying in protecting a child? The lack of serious urgency about this case is disturbing,” she added.

Siti Noor Azila, the second wife of Mr. Che Abdul Karim, with her two daughters in her family’s home in Gua Musang. She said she and her husband’s first wife had told him, “It is us or that girl.”CreditLauren DeCicca for The New York Times

“As a Muslim, I am offended by the idea that we should not protect a child because of an assumption that this has something to do with Islam,” Ms. Latheefa said.

Ayu was taken to a hospital for a virginity test this month, but later the same day was reunited with her husband and has been with him often since, family members said.

“I love her,” Mr. Che Abdul Karim said by phone, stressing he would not “touch” his new wife until she was 16 years old.

For her part, Ayu said in a text message that she loved her husband, who has six children with his two other wives. She used a heart emoticon to describe him.

Constitutionally, Malaysia’s legal system is bifurcated. Non-Muslim Malaysians, mostly from the nation’s ethnic Chinese and Indian minorities, are bound by civil law. Under the law, unless special consent is given by a high-ranking state minister, Malaysia’s non-Muslims cannot get married until they are 18.

The country’s ethnic Malay Muslim majority, however, must hew to Islamic law. A Shariah court must grant permission for minors below the age of 16 to marry. If a Muslim receives approval from Shariah authorities, there is no minimum age for marriage.

Ayu’s family’s home in Gua Musang. Child marriages in Malaysia are sometimes driven by the poverty of the bride’s family.CreditLauren DeCicca for The New York Times

“In Islamic procedure, as long as a bride agrees, her parents agree and the girl has had her menstrual period, then a marriage is O.K.,” said Sayed Noordin, the imam at the Kuala Betis mosque that Mr. Che Abdul Karim attends.

“Che Karim is a good Muslim,” Mr. Sayed added. “He always comes for prayer, and he is a responsible man.”

But Mr. Che Abdul Karim did get in minor trouble for not following all the requirements for a child marriage. The Shariah Court in Kelantan this month fined him $450 for the infraction of marrying Ayu in neighboring Thailand without the court’s prior permission.

Malaysian child rights activists said that about 15,000 girls under 15 were in child marriages in 2010. Globally, Unicef estimates that there are about 650 million girls and women of various faiths who were wed before they turned 18.

But an effort to outlaw underage unions for all Malaysians amid the toughening of child sex crime legislation failed in Parliament. Arguing against the ban, Shabudin Yahaya, a legislator from what was then the governing party, said that a girl as young as 9 could be ready for marriage if she had gone through puberty.

“Their body is already akin to them being 18 years old,” Mr. Shabudin, a former Shariah court judge, said in a parliamentary session. “So physically and spiritually, it is not a barrier for the girl to marry.”

Ms. Nuraini, right, in her family’s restaurant, where Ayu’s mother worked. Ayu would often go there with her mother.CreditLauren DeCicca for The New York Times

Many child marriages in Malaysia are informal pairings that are not legally recognized by any court. But couples who do try to register their marriages find little resistance. A study by the Malaysia office of Unicef found that of 2,143 child marriage applications made to Shariah courts in seven Malaysian states from 2012 to 2016, 10 were refused.

In some instances, girls have ended up married to men charged with raping them. In 2015, a man from the eastern Malaysian state of Sarawak was charged with the statutory rape of a 14-year-old girl. But the case was dropped after he married her with permission from a Shariah court. Marital rape is not a crime in Malaysia.

Sometimes, Shariah courts accept underage unions to legitimize out-of-wedlock pregnancies, the Unicef report said. Other child marriages are driven by the poverty of the bride’s family.

In the case of Ayu, which is a shortened version of her full name to protect her identity, the income discrepancy was clear. Ayu is a Thai citizen whose father moved the family over the border to Gua Musang in Kelantan State to work as a rubber tapper. She grew up in a shabby, stilted wooden house with no running water.

Mr. Che Abdul Karim, by contrast, lives in a modern villa, his prized Mazda RX-8 parked in front. His first wife, Nuraini Che Nawi, runs a restaurant and grocery next door.

One of her employees was Ayu’s mother, Aminah Hitam. Because Ayu did not go to school, she often accompanied her mother to work.

Ms. Nuraini and her daughter, Norazila, center, at the restaurant.CreditLauren DeCicca for The New York Times

Kelantan is one of Malaysia’s poorest and most conservative states. An Islamic political party has governed the state for decades, urging Muslim women to wear head scarves in public and ordering Arabic to be displayed on signs.

Mohamad Amar Nik Abdullah, Kelantan’s deputy chief minister and vice president of the Malaysian Islamic Party, stressed that child marriage was legal in Islam and said the country had more pressing social issues to address.

He said the existence of homosexuals and single parents in Malaysia “should be a concern for our government and society.”

Liberal Malays have questioned whether child marriage is truly an Islamic tradition or simply an outdated cultural practice. They have challenged the notion that the Prophet Muhammad married one of his wives when she was 6, saying that she was, in fact, much older.

“We cannot use a historical error about the Prophet Muhammad to condone child marriage,” said Ms. Latheefa, the human rights lawyer. “That’s sickening.”

Muslim-majority countries like Morocco and Egypt have outlawed child marriage, although underage unions remain common there.

The entrance to Gua Musang. The town is in Kelantan, one of Malaysia’s poorest and most conservative states.CreditLauren DeCicca for The New York Times

This month, Malaysia’s Islamic affairs minister, Mujahid Yusof Rawa, said that his ministry had begun efforts to prohibit child marriage for Muslims, even as he cautioned that putting such a ban into effect would take time.

Meanwhile, Mr. Che Abdul Karim’s first two wives have banded together.

“We have said to him, it is us or that girl,” said Siti Noor Azila, Mr. Che Abdul Karim’s second wife. “We said, you choose. You cannot have all three of us.”

Malaysia follows general Islamic custom by allowing Muslim men up to four wives.

Ms. Siti Noor said her husband never gave her enough money to care for their four children, including one with spina bifida. She works as a baker to pay her bills.

“He is so stingy with us, but he has enough money to get married to Ayu and take her on holiday,” Ms. Siti Noor said, referring to a trip to a hill retreat that Mr. Che Abdul Karim posted about on social media. Ayu, she said, was the only one of the wives allowed to ride in their husband’s Mazda sports car.

As Ms. Siti Noor spoke, two toddlers screamed for space in her lap. She looked exhausted.

“Their father never takes care of them,” she said. “He doesn’t even like children.”

Ms. Siti Noor corrected herself. “Except one,” she said. “That Ayu.”

Sharon Tan contributed reporting from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

A version of this article appears in print on , on Page A1 of the New York edition with the headline: Wed at 11: Child Bride Ignites Debate in Malaysia. Order Reprints | Today’s Paper | Subscribe