Indonesia announced the establishment of the National Marriage Age Maturity Movement on Thursday in an effort to raise awareness of matrimonial responsibilities and prevent child marriages. 

Speaking at a seminar, Vice President Ma’ruf Amin said the movement is an advocacy effort to make people aware that mental maturity is the most important asset for individuals who run households.

“Prospective brides and grooms must have a mental maturity, specifically related to the knowledge and awareness of the rights and obligations as husband or wife,” said Ma’ruf.

He stressed that a lack of mental maturity has the potential to cause negative impacts such as threats to reproductive health and domestic violence.

Ma’ruf also revealed that women and children often become victims in marriage. In an unhealthy marriage, the position of women is very weak, so they do not have a bargaining position in managing the family.

“Women, because they are generally economically dependent, do not have the best opportunity to provide nutrition for their families and children,” he added.

Amany Lubis, the chairperson of the Women, Youth and Family Division of the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI), said the movement aims to strengthen the institution of marriage.

“Both husbands and wives will face their problems together, as one family, so that they will not end in divorce,” said Lubis during the same event.

She added that the MUI has been working together with all related ministries, institutions and communities to implement the movement.

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