‘Aisyiyah is Tackling Child Marriage through Village Regulations in Mamuju Regency

26 July 2019
Author: Amron Hamdi

The high levels of child marriage in Mamuju Regency, West Sulawesi, have been a major concern of ‘Aisyiyah — one of the MAMPU Partners for improving women’s health and nutrition. Halimah, one of ‘Aisyiyah’s regional leadership, explained that Mamuju has the second highest rate of child marriage in West Sulawesi province.

Through the MAMPU Program, ‘Aisyiyah has successfully pushed for a new Village Regulation preventing child marriage in Pati’di Village, which came into effect on 24 April 2019.

‘Aisyiyah provided guidance to the Pati’di Village Government for around two years, until finally the Village Regulation was passed,” said Halimah.

Widespread unregistered child marriage and high maternal mortality rates of teenagers contributed to the urgency of the regulation. It focuses on preventing child marriage through educating and empowering children and their families, providing knowledge about sexual and reproductive health rights, offering counselling to families, and strengthening administrative processes to stop child marriage.

The signing of the new regulation was attended by all elements of the village community, including representatives from the Health Office, and the Women’s and Children’s Empowerment office of West Sulawesi Province. Rusli, the Village Head, voiced his pleasure for the regulation, and added,

“It is not enough to stop with just this regulation, moving forward there must be a joint movement involving all elements of the community, to decrease the numbers of child marriage through campaigns and village activities.”

The MAMPU- ‘Aisyiyah team in Mamuju Regency is now pushing for the creation of other regulations related to the specific needs of women and children. The team is working towards creating a Village Regulation concerning nutrition and reproductive health in Tadui, and a regulation aimed at preventing child marriage in Sumare Village.

“We are making these efforts to ensure that the health issues and problems experienced by women and children in Mamuju become a general concern, and are included in development planning to improve the quality of life of the women and children,” she added.