Antara, Jakarta – Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Cultural Affairs, Muhadjir Effendy, has called for collaboration among parties, particularly parents, to prevent child marriage, which can negatively affect children's growth.
"As we know, child marriage can have negative effects, such as domestic violence, divorce, stunting growth in offspring, and the emergence of new poor families," Effendy said at the "Minister greets, it's time for the youth to make a voice" seminar, accessed online on Saturday.
To establish a harmonious household, thorough preparation, including physical and mental maturity, is needed, he added.
"Child marriage lacks proper preparation. For instance, a woman younger than 18 might have no physical maturity to bear a child and become a mother. Labor at a young age also threatens the mother's and baby's lives," he expounded.
The reproductive organs of women younger than 18 years are not mature enough to support optimal fetal growth, he added.
The minister then said that collaboration between parties is essential to prevent child marriages.
"We hope parents will not marry their sons and daughters at a very young age. Give them opportunities to gain higher education that will be their foundation to establish a happy household," Effendy added.
He also expressed the hope that Indonesia will become free of child marriage in the future so an advanced generation can be created and Indonesia's growth can be augmented to realize an advanced nation.
Earlier, head of the National Population and Family Planning Agency (BKKBN), Hasto Wardoyo, had warned that child marriage can cause an increase in mother and infant mortality rates.
"Child marriage is dangerous, and it also potentially causes stunting birth in the offspring," Wardoyo said.
The agency head urged all families to properly plan and proceed with the marriage only at the appropriate age.