Early Marriage in Indonesia
Indonesia is partly an industrialized and generally a rural country. The country’s culture as well as the lack of information reaching the rural areas is contributory to the high incidence of early marriage in Indonesia.
The prevalence of early marriage in Indonesia is most common in rural areas and to young females below the age of 20 who are lacking in education.
Notably, Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world with its 250 million population unequally dispersed in 17,508 islands.
Though the urban areas in Indonesia seem to be relatively dense in terms of population, they are merely dots on the entire archipelago.
What you would look at, as the majority, is the population of the rural areas that are deprived of education and economic opportunities – which are vital factors for early marriages.
Early Marriage Studies
Studies have found that education plays a pivotal role on women’s awareness on fertility and her well-being. The higher the education a young female achieved, the less likely she will marry and bear a child at first marriage (below 20 years old).
In contrast, young females who were raised in rural areas tended to marry as a result of their parents’ decision. There is also a huge contrast on females from urban and rural areas who bear their first child before the age of 20.
Early marriage in Indonesia results to 19% of females from the urban who give birth at an early age compared to 40% in rural communities.
Education being prioritized on sons, a culture that still reigns in the basic unit of the society especially in rural areas, is one of the reasons why young females (referring to girls below the age of 20) could not grasp the needed education until today.
Information supplied by the mass media also significantly decreases the likelihood of early marriage in Indonesia. Young females who were exposed to media (which could mean the radio, television, and newspaper) for as short as one hour per week were more conscious of not going into an early marriage in Indonesia.
Radio, however, could not be deemed essentially informative because the information relayed to listeners depended on the type of radio station format listened to.
Studies likewise found that the high incidence of early marriage in Indonesia runs in the culture where a woman is considered an “old maid” if she does not marry by the age of 17, an act disgraceful to her parents.
Average Early Marriage Marrying Age
The average marrying age of young women in Indonesia is 17.0 and they can have an average of 5.6 children by first marriage. The use of contraceptives is less common in young females who do not have or lack access to information.
As the millennium nears to its first decade, the situation of women not only in Indonesia must improve dramatically for a nation to move forward.
Over the years, modernization has resulted in women’s participation not just in the economy but in political affairs as well. Education is a major factor. If we educate women, another half of the society will have thrust on nation building.
Photo: Various Source / Text: Indoflick / Early Marriage
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