Breaking News
Home / World News / Female Islamic clerics in Indonesia issue rare child marriage fatwa

Female Islamic clerics in Indonesia issue rare child marriage fatwa

Women's Islamic conference in IndonesiaImage copyright BBC Indonesia
Image caption The congress has brought together female Islamic leaders from several countries

Female Islamic clerics in Indonesia have issued an unprecedented fatwa against child marriage.

The fatwa, which is not legally binding but will be influential, was issued after a three-day congress of female clerics in the country.

The clerics urged the government to raise the minimum legal age for women to marry to 18 from the current 16.

Indonesia is a majority Muslim country and has among the highest number of child brides in the world.

According to the UN’s children office Unicef, one in four women in Indonesia marry before the age of 18.

The congress, held in Cirebon on Java island, is being called the first major gathering of female Muslim clerics.

Fatwas are regularly issued in Indonesia, but usually by the Indonesian Ulema Council – the highest Islamic authority in the country which is made up almost entirely of men.

“Female clerics know the issues and obstacles women face, we can take action and do not just wait for the government to protect these children,” Ninik Rahayu, the conference organiser, told Reuters.

The female clerics cited studies which highlight that many Indonesian child brides are not allowed to continue their education and half the marriages end in divorce.

You can read more coverage of the conference from the BBC’s Indonesian language website.

Facebook Comments

Check Also

Burundi orders couples to wed amid drive to ‘moralise society’

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Burundi is one of the world’s poorest countries and …

Wimbledon fire: Blaze at All England Club tennis courts

Image copyright @MarcInners Image caption Crews from Tooting, Wandsworth, Fulham and New Malden fire stations …

UK achieves solar power record as temperatures soar

Image copyright Getty Images A record amount of solar power was generated on Friday as …

Sri Lanka floods: Scores die as monsoon triggers mudslides

Image copyright AFP Image caption Torrents of mud swept into villages in Kalutara district, burying …