Indonesia raises minimum age for marriage

Indonesia raises minimum age for marriage
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The Indonesian parliament ruled the minimum age for women to marry would be boosted to 19 in an effort to curtail child marriage in the country.

The revision to the country's marriage law received unanimous support, the country's House of Representatives said in a statement on Monday.

The previous minimum marriage age was 16 for girls and 19 for men, and if parents wanted to authorize younger girls for marriage, there was no minimum age, CNN noted.

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About 14 percent of girls in Indonesia are married before their 18th birthdays, and 1 percent are married before they turn 15, according to UNICEF.

Girls Not Brides reports that Indonesia has the eighth highest number of child marriages in the world at more than 1 million. The global organization writes that child marriage is common in Indonesia due to education and poverty levels, family honor and gender norms.

"The Indonesian parliament's decision is a positive step towards recognizing that girls are entitled to the same opportunities in life as boys," Executive Director for Girls Not Brides Rachel Yates told CNN in a statement.