Facebook blamed for sharp
increase in underage marriage
in G. Kidul

The Yogyakarta town of Gunung Kidul has reported a sharp increase in the number of underage marriages, which are said to be a result of the social networking phenomena, namely Facebook. 

“[Facebook] is easy to access, even in rural areas, and leads to teenage girls getting pregnant outside marriage,” Gunung Kidul Religious Court junior legal secretary Siti Haryanti said Thursday in Gunung Kidul.

“During trials, we’ve repeatedly asked underage couples whether they got acquainted via Facebook. And they admit [they did] and continued their relationships until [the girls] got pregnant,” she said.

Siti said there had been a “drastic” incease in the number of underage couples proposing to be wedded since the social networking site gained popularity in the town over the past two years.

This year alone, as of Thursday, 130 underage couples had submitted marriage proposals to the religious court — a 100 percent increase from last year, she said.

The 1974 Law on Marriage stipulates that a woman can only marry after they are 16 years old, and men must be at least 19 years old, Antara reported Thursday.

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