Indonesia is facing significant social changes, as is demonstrated by the trend of marriages among young people as they encounter a growing number of religious-based advocacy groups that say early marriage leads to an ideal life, activists say.

“It isn’t just about saying ‘it’s better to get married than commit adultery or sin’ but it is also about the idea of marriage and what it can bring to people so their life is more meaningful,” Nur Hidayati Handa-yani, a member of the Youth Advisory Panel of the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) Indonesia, said on Friday.

She believed that religious-based groups have advocated that young people get married early to protect them against illegal sexual acts as ruled by their religious principles.

“A woman’s life is said to be not complete without getting married and having children. This encourages young people to get married early,” said Handayani, adding that such faith-based campaigns had taken place in campuses through discussion and peer dialogue sessions.

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