Marriage and pregnancy at child-age or during adolescence can trigger various problems…
Jakarta (ANTARA) - The National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN) has continued to campaign against child marriage to prevent a rise in maternal deaths in East Java.

"Marriage and pregnancy at child-age or during adolescence can trigger various problems, such as maternal and infant mortality, stunting, poverty, and domestic violence, which usually lead to divorce," Head of the East Java representative office of the BKKBN, Maria Ernawati, said in a statement released here on Monday.

BKKBN’s ongoing campaign against child marriage is encouraging adolescents to get married at a mature age, she noted.

Though Law Number 16 of 2019 sets the minimum age for marriage at 19 years for both men and women, she advised women to get married after turning 21 and men once they are 25 years old.

This can help ensure that couples are more mature and ready, both physically and mentally, before tying the knot. Moreover, based on data from the Surabaya Religious High Court, the number of applications for marriage dispensations in East Java during the January–November 2022 period reached 14,409.

The high figure indicated that the number of cases of child marriage in East Java is still very high and must become a cause for concern for all parties because child marriage is one of the causes of stunting.

Therefore, the BKKBN is appealing to parents to provide optimal parenting and supervision as well as the right information on reproductive health.

Earlier, BKKBN Head Hasto Wardoyo highlighted that child marriage increases maternal and infant mortality. Children without mothers are at a higher risk of stunting due to lack of care.

This is because stunting can occur due to inadequate parenting, from the mental, emotional, and physical viewpoints. In terms of mental preparedness, children are not considered ready to face the risks of marriage as they still need more time to play and learn.

Meanwhile, in terms of physical health, the wombs of females under the age of 19 are still developing. Thus, if they get married early, they face a higher risk of cervical cancer.

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Translator: Hreeloita Dharma, Raka Adji
Editor: Sri Haryati
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