The minimum age to get married should be adapted to the maturity of males and females, i.e. 21 years old instead of 16 years for women and 19 years for men, as stipulated in Law No. 1 of 1974. The difference in age to marry in the current marriage laws increasingly standardize the role and status of husband-wife relationship in the disproportionate pattern and eventually discriminative against women. "If it is not amended, the law of marriage in Indonesia will be deemed to perpetuate child marriage," said General judge of the Supreme Court, Drs. Andi Sjamsu Alam, M. Hum., in his open doctoral examination of Philosophy study program that took place in the Auditorium of UGM MM, Tuesday (12/7). His promoters are Prof. Dr. H.R. Soejadi, S.H, and Dr. Muhammad Mukhtasar Syamsuddin, M. Hum.
Sjamsu Alam said the equality in terms of ideal age of marriage, namely 21 years, should be equal between men and women. Each couple at that age is balanced in terms of psychological, sociological, and health. "The idealization of the marriage age at 21 is a very significant part in reconstructing the thoughts of marriage law in Indonesia," said Alam Sjamsu who managed to graduate cum laude.
Sjamsu Alam also disagrees if the marriage age of men is 21 years while for women 19 years. In his opinion, it is very discriminative. "That has the same meaning as to allow male to graduate from university while the female only as far as high school," he said. Ideally, men and women are equally aged 21. In addition, Sjamsu Alam also regrets the current marriage law that still gives a chance of marriage with 20 years difference between male and female age. "In the Middle East, marriage with more than 20 years of age difference is prohibited. In Indonesia, it is not. Example: the Mayor of Bogor (Diani Budiarto, 56 years), has 19-year-old wife, who is also his fourth wife," he said.
Furthermore, Sjamsu Alam explained the marriage law with the requirements of the 21 years minimal age will ensure the preservation of human resources. The indication is that at the age of 21 years, humans will be able to develop a healthy family and give birth to quality generations, not only in terms of physical but also psychologically.
He criticized the marriage that comes from the assumption that the husband should always be more mature and more capable than his wife. That is because the husband is positioned as the head of household and breadwinner, while the women are placed as a subordinate. But in reality, many households end up with divorce because of fundamental differences between husband and wife, among other the age of maturity. In fact, differences in social and economic status are often a source of prolonged strife that ultimately leads to family disharmony.