Marrying Young in Indonesia: Voices, Laws and Practices

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Ariane Utomo, South East Asia Research, 2020.

"Marrying Young in Indonesia features empirical chapters on the diversity of everyday practices around child marriage, and the complex causes and consequences associated with it. The edited collection is the outcome of an academic workshop held at the University of Indonesia in 2017. .... Much of the book's content was written prior to the revision of the Marriage Law in 2019, but such a temporal aspect behind the book's production makes it an even more timely and engaging read. The book serves as a critical reading to better understand the contestations behind efforts to regulate marriage timing and to end child marriage in Indonesia. 

In interrogating the complex terrain of child marriage research, the book effectively displays a variety of research methods, from survey through life history and legal archival analysis. Scholars working on marriage and family change in the region will particularly appreciate the detailed methods section in each of the empirical chapters. The description of case studies and field site selection seem to indicate patterns of geographic clustering. 

...the nuanced perspectives and wide-ranging geographical insights on child marriage presented in this book will be of interest to policymakers, activists and scholars working in this field."

About the Publication

“Stop Child Marriage” has been a growing movement in Indonesia since the early 2010s. Child marriage, in this context, means marriage involving anybody under the age of eighteen. Women’s rights and children’s rights are at the centre of this movement. Both Indonesian and international organizations oppose marriage under the age of eighteen, trying to develop strategies to counter the wrongs and abuses they have observed. 

This book is the outcome of a workshop on child marriage research: twelve chapters that complement studies of contemporary child marriage in Indonesia. It includes research from different regions in Indonesia: South Sulawesi; South and West Sumatra; West Nusa Tenggara; West, Central and East Java; and DI Yogyakarta. 

The book offers a new perspective on child marriage by presenting everyday practices instead of focusing on stereotypical and sensational cases. In-depth research enables micro-level analysis of the socioeconomic context that affects child marriage practices in different regions. Local actors such as regional bureaucrats, judges, religious leaders, parents and young people themselves play dynamic roles in changing or sustaining the practice of child marriage. 

This collection of interdisciplinary research provides an excellent background for debates and discourses on child marriage at the national and international level. This book aims to inspire more activists, academics and policymakers towards informing and supporting adolescents in their choices and protecting them, when necessary, from the reality and negative consequences of forced and early marriage.


Marrying Young in Indonesia: Voices, Laws and Practices, by Mies Grijns , Hoko Horii, Sulistyowati Irianto, Pinky Saptandari, editors
Preliminary pages
Introduction, by Hoko Horii, Mies Grijns , authors
1. Survived, arisen, and empowered: The struggle of six women as child marriage victims in Curgug Hijau Village, West Java, by Regina Kalosa, author
2. A child carrying a child: Portrait of a teenager's life after early marriage due to pregnancy in Ungaran, Semarang, Central Java, by Nur I'anah, author
3. "Ready or not, be prepared!": Marital status, the state and consequences of child marriage in East Tomoni, Luwu Timur, South Sulawesi, by Nurul Ilmi Idrus, author
4. Autonomy of young pregnant women in Surabaya, East Java, by Hilmi Yumni, Pinky Saptandari, authors
5. Marriage dispensation in Tanah Datar District, West Sumatra: Problem or solution?, by Ashabul Fadhli, author
6. Breaking the cycle: Dating violence in the city of Palembang, South Sumatra, by Putu Samawati, author
7. Merariq, awig-awig and child marriage in Sasak Labuapi, Lombok, by Evi Sukmayeti, author
8. The social construction of child marriage according to the kiai in Lamongan, East Java, by Madekhan, author
9. Religion as legitimator of child marriage: Tracing the role of marriage interpretation in Islamic boarding schools in Yogyakarta, by Taufiqurrohim, Unisiyah Siti Marhamah, authors
10. "Listen, I want to tell a story": Peer groups as a means to prevent child marriage in Yogyakarta, by Meike Lusye Karolus, Shinta Candra Dewi, Partini, authors
11. Child marriage contested and the state. Anything new under the sun?, by Sita Thama van Bemmelen, Mies Grijns , authors
Short Biodata of the Editors

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