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Jakarta Post

Child bride survivors challenge Marriage Law at Constitutional Court

Child bride survivors challenge Marriage Law at Constitutional Court A victim of child abuse. (Shutterstock/File)
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
Jakarta   ●   Fri, April 21, 2017 2017-04-21 06:45 1476 a291276806121264c0bd211cdea0d341 1 National #ChildMarriage,child-abuse Free

Three child bride survivors are challenging Indonesia’s 1974 Marriage Law, calling on the Constitutional Court (MK) to raise its minimum legal marriageable age for women in a bid to end rampant child marriage across the country.

Plaintiffs Endang Warsinah, 35, Maryanti, 30, and Rasminah, 32, are former child brides who were forced to marry due to financial struggles. Endang and Maryanti married at the age of 14, while Rasmidah's first marriage was at the age of 13.

Lawyers filed a judicial review request to the Constitutional Court on Thursday from the Indonesian Coalition to End Child Marriage (Koalisi 18+), who represent the women. It was filed in commemoration of equal rights pioneer Kartini's birthday, which this year lands on Friday.

Endang, Maryanti and Rasminah decided to challenge the article because they felt they had suffered as child brides and did not want to see their own children or future generations be forced into the same experience, said Koalisi 18+ lawyer Dian Kartika.

"This judicial review request is based on the survivors' real-life experiences. Being married at such young age has not only brought pain to their lives, but also the lives of their children," Dian said on Thursday.

The petitioners specifically challenged Article 7 (1) of the law, which sets the minimum age of marriage for women at 16. They are demanding the court to raise the age requirement to 19, which is the minimum age of marriage for men. (dan)