Module Preparation of Child Marriage Prevention through Strengthening of Formal and Non Formal Institution

BERDAYA Program (Formal and Non-Formal Institutional Empowerment Program) Rumah KitaB conducted a workshop on module preparation of Child Marriage Prevention through Strengthening of Formal and Non Formal Institutions on January 17, 2018 in Jakarta. The workshop is supported by Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice 2 (AIPJ2) with the aim of gaining input on six modules text. The draft module was prepared by Rumah KitaB Team under the coordination of Mrs. Lies Marcoes and six coauthors. According to the plan, this module will be used by the BERDAYA facilitator in 4 working areas of this program; Bogor, Cirebon, North Jakarta and South Sulawesi.
The workshop was attended by staff of BERDAYA, Rumah KitaB and resource persons representing various institutions, including Mr. Adib Machrus, Head of KUA Development and Sakinah Family Ministry of Religious Affairs, Mrs. Rohika from the Ministry of Women Empowerment and Child Protection, Dr. Nur Rofiah from Alimat / KUPI (Indonesian Congress of Women Scholars), Mr. Mohammad Noor from Cilegon Religious Court, Mrs. Dani from Rahima, Mr. Marzuki Wahid from Fahmina and Irene Isnandjaja, representative of DFAT Australia. The total number of participants is about 20 people.

In the introduction, Lies Marcoes explains the background of the BERDAYA program activities and their relevance to the preparation of this module and the training that will be carried out using this module. Research of Rumah KitaB in 2014-2016 shows the relationship between child marriage with the weakening of men’s economic role due to changes in living space, loss of men’s access to resources, especially work and land. “The demand for female labor (wife) does not necessarily change the status of the role of the man (husband) as the head of the family. At the same time, men lose their authority and they reinforce their status with moral guard roles, “Mrs. Lies said in her presentation. “The government has tried to overcome the marriage of children, but the role of officials such as KUA and PA become more severe because the encouragement of the practice of child marriage comes from men who lost their economic role, but is getting tighter in maintaining the traditional morale in which they still have a role. This is reinforced by the changing landscape of religious authorities that tend to be more puritanical. The survey on child marriage acceptance index in Probolinggo and Sumenep, East Java (2017) organized by Rumah KitaB and UNICEF shows the attitude of men who are more accepting of child marriage practices.

On the situation, the training curriculum was developed with a framework to strengthen institutions that work in the prevention of child marriage through the provision of an understanding of the facts of child marriage, the rights of children agreed upon in the Child Protection Act, and text-reading methodologies that have the opportunity to reinterpret domination father in imposing child marriage. This activity also seeks to explain that the fulfillment of children’s rights and obedience to positive law is a way of avoiding legal dualism which has been a problem in the issue of child marriage. This legal dualism has resulted in many marriage practices that are illegal on positive law viewpoint but are considered valid by interpretation.

The workshop produced a curriculum flow that absorbed all proposals from the participants to be followed up by rewrites in several chapters or revisions for chapters considered to be sufficient. The BERDAYA program will pilot this training module in March 2018 following the revision process as recommended by the workshop. [Lies Marcoes / Seto Hidayat]

Community Forum Discussion of Child Marriage at Panakkukang – Learning from Indonesian and Australian Experience

AIPJ2, MAKASSAR – Child marriage is beyond a statistical issue. The high number of child marriages in Indonesia, which reached 23 percent of all marriages in 2015 (according to the Indonesian Central Bureau of Statistics and UNICEF) also reflects the loss of opportunities for young women in maximising their potential. Poverty and cultural practices are several factors that contribute to the high number of child marriages, including in Tamamaung and Sinrijala, Panakkukang District, Makassar.

The focus of the dialogue held on 1 November 2017 between community members, government representatives and non-formal institutions with Dr. Sharman Stone, Australian Ambassador for Women and Girls , was child marriage prevention. Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice 2 (AIPJ2) partners, Lies Marcoes and a team from Rumah Kita Bersama (Rumah KitaB), facilitated the discussion including findings from on-the-ground research.

While most child marriage cases in village areas result from poverty (including low levels of education) and cultural practices, Rumah KitaB’s study also finds other factors involved for urban areas, such as limited space in which to interact and the rising conservative value associated with shame. “…This leads parents to put more pressure on girls to get married. Pregnant or not, girls are forced to marry,” said Nurhady Sirimorok, a researcher with Rumah KitaB.

According to Dr. Stone, the Government of Australia supports the lives of children born from early marriages. Nevertheless, Dr. Stone agrees that unwanted pregnancies are challenging for society, especially for girls who have to drop out of school and face the challenge of getting a decent job.

The Government of Indonesia has adopted a minimum age for marriage based on Law no. 1/1974, article 6, which is 16 and 19 years old for women and men respectively. But this does not stop the act of falsifying ages to marry children. A former judge at the religious court in Makassar, Ibu Harijah, said that religious courts are often pressured by parents to provide dispensation to enable the family to avoid public shaming. This situation gives the impression of legal “justification” of child-age marriage.

The issue of birth certificates is also a driving force for the marriage of pregnant teenage girls. One lesson that can be drawn from Australia’s experience is how teenage girls are less stigmatised as single parents now than they were in the past, and receive child support from the government. But as much as this is the case, the family also plays an important role in maximising the potential of teenage girls. “We want all women to have an equal opportunity,” said Dr. Stone.

With various advocacy agencies, efforts to prevent child marriage begin with parenting skills, enrolling dropout children in non-formal education programs, and conducting regular meetings with community members. These agencies also provide skill-enriching activities to improve standard of living. Marketing programs to boost the sale of merchandise created by the girls are also important since they find it difficult to find buyers themselves.

At the end of the discussion, Dr. Stone concluded that differences and similarities related to the situation in Indonesia and Australia make cooperation in prevention very critical. Dr. Stone also appreciated the efforts of religious, cultural, non-formal and local government leaders in Makassar to address the issue.


BERDAYA PROGRAM: To reduce child marriage practices by empowering the role of policy makers, community leaders and families

An effort to reduce the practice of child marriage through the revitalization of formal and non-formal institutions, empowerment of community leaders and families in urban areas; Bogor, Cirebon, Makassar and North Jakarta.

Rumah KitaB cooperates with Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice (AIPJ2) held a workshop program introduction and team up for the BERDAYA program at Royal Padjadjaran hotel, Bogor, 2-3 August 2017.
Lies Marcoes, program officer said that the marriage rate of children in Indonesia is increasing. Citing data from BPS and UNICEF, one in four (1: 4) women married before reaching 18 years. One of the key elements of this practice is the institutions that become the entrance to the marriage of children.

“Research conducted by Rumah KitaB in nine regions show that formal and non-formal leaders are the main keys to prevent this practice, because in their hands the child marriage can take place or be rejected,” the director of Rumah KitaB confirmed in the opening.

All field coordinators and their assistants attended in the workshop. In addition, the workshop materials are strengthened by resource persons such as Ir. Dina Nurdinawati, MA from IPB presenting the results of Rumah KitaB, Rahima, and UNICEF surveys in Sumenep and Probolinggo. The survey with nearly 1,000 respondents sees significant differences between the two regions in terms of child marriage practices and emphasizes the importance of working with men in both formal and informal institutions. As the main tool of the program is the socialization of the media, there came three resource person regarding this issue; Civita from Matabiru who shared the website of run by AKSI Network and Rumah KitaB, Mulyani Hasan, senior journalist and coordinator of BERDAYA program in South Sulawesi and Mira Renata, AIPJ2 Communication Media Management Program.

Knowing that the selection of research locations is also related to efforts to prevent radicalism targeting families and girls, this workshop is discussed with a very deep logical thinking that connects fundamentalism and child marriage. One of the most important sessions in this workshop was the decision making of change indicator guided by Lia Berliana Marpaung, gender specialist from AIPJ2 and Mrs. Lies Marcoes from Rumah KitaB. By using the Gender Analysis Pathway strategy mandated by Bappenas, Rumah KitaB designed the indicators using the theory of change; Access, Participation, Benefit, Control.
Theory of Change is also used as a measurable parameter. The change ladder includes: