A day Two Children Get Married in West Nusa Tenggara

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LOMBOK – Cases of child marriage in West Nusa Tenggara Province are worrying. Just imagine, West Nusa Tenggara Province occupies the second largest position in Indonesia. Even more surprising, according to Save the Children Indonesia (SCI) data, one to two children are married during 2022.

Save the Children Indonesia’s main researcher, Dian Aryani, revealed that there is a tendency for the number of child marriages to increase in West Nusa Tenggara Province. based on data marriage dispensation from the Ministry of Religion West Nusa Tenggara in 2019, there were 311 applications and in 2020 there were 83 applications, there was an increase of 492 applications for marriage dispensation.

He explained, from this data shows the addition. However, this figure is not in its entirety from unknown data, unrecorded marriages. This was conveyed by Dian Aryani in a discussion in the context of disseminating qualitative research reports related to child marriage, early marriages, as well as forced marriages at the Office of Women’s Empowerment, Child Protection, Population Control and Family Planning, West Nusa Tenggara Province.

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“This figure doesn’t even include the practice of marriages held by village chiefs who are not properly recorded,” said Dian, Friday (27/1/2023).

 

He explained, Save the Children Indonesia’s qualitative research on child marriage, early marriage and forced marriage was carried out in four locations in West Nusa Tenggara Province. Among them, West Lombok, North Lombok, East Lombok and Central Lombok.

 

As for the results, as many as 38 percent of the 492 applications for marriage dispensation were data complications from 3 districts namely North Lombok, Central Lombok and East Lombok with highest number being in Central Lombok.

Dian Aryani conveyed that forcing child marriages is a form of violence and a violation of children’s rights. The case of child marriage in West Nusa Tenggara Province is like a mountain of estimated data that appears on the surface based on requests for dispensation of marriage, while data on unregistered marriages and private marriages are not found.

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Dian mentioned, child marriage has a very negative impact on the development of children both in terms of education, health, and the economy which of course will lead to the emergence of new poverty or structural poverty.  Not only that cases of domestic violence are also rife in young couples who have just married at a young age and not the least of the negative effects in various cases is death.

 

In a qualitative study, Save the Children Indonesia also describes in detail related to discriminatory social norms, patriarchal customs. Adult omission practices, subjective interpretation of beliefs, the lack of positive communication between parents and children related to getting along and behaving up to gender inequality and inequality in gender, especially among children and women, this is a key research finding from Save the Children Indonesia.

 

Meanwhile, from a legal and policy perspective, the government in West Nusa Tenggara has made many breakthroughs. The law in West Nusa Tenggara regarding early and violent marriage is regional regulation number 5 of 2021 concerning the prevention of child marriage.

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However, policies and regulations at the provincial level alone are felt to be insufficient to address the issue of child marriage, there is a need for integrated efforts with traditional leaders and religious leaders as well as assistance and provision.

 

He added, young researchers consisting of representatives of children’s forums also conveyed important recommendations to be followed up immediately, including cross-generational dialogue and education programs, increasing media messages and education on preventing child marriage later and promoting themgender equality through child citizen journalism by utilizing social media or local television channels. Strengthening children’s forum activities, developing a reporting system for cases of violations of children’s rights and involving the participation of children in disability groups and women in development planning are also important factors. (s/rif)

Tentang Penulis: Redaksi Koranlombok

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