By Gede Sudarma, Youth Empowerment Coordinator
On Monday 16 October, as part of our Girl EMpowerment Program, three EBPP students joined an on-air campaign at RRI (Radio Republic of Indonesia) Denpasar to talk about the situation and strategies to overcome child marriage issues in their six Ban Village Communities, as part of EBPP collaboration with Bali Sruti Foundation, activists for women and child empowerment.
Since 2016, EBPP’s Girl Empowerment students have worked tirelessly on these issues and given many presentations and outreach to the communities, village leaders, government officials, and other stakeholders to raise awareness about the situation and gain support. Finally, one of the solutions they proposed was creating a ‘customary law’ regarding child marriage received a positive response from the customary village leaders and was strongly supported by the Ban Village Head
Since 2022, with the help of Bali Legal Aid Foundation, after approaching the customary village leaders, 2 of the 19 customary villages finally ratified the customary law (Pararem) with a regulation that the minimum legal age to get married is 19 years.
Clearly, early child marriage is very detrimental for the children, especially the girls, so through this campaign, the students hoped that the community perspective/awareness will change and concur - and all the 19 customary villages will soon ratify the customary law (pararem) that ‘prevents early marriage.