When the expectation towards law is beyond its limit
The marriage of a 14 year old girl to a 23 year old man recently has sparked debate in the country on the relevance and suitability of such marriage.
Many arguments were advanced; many are against such a marriage.
Nevertheless, the fact that the law requires permission of Syariah Court to be obtained before child marriage to be solemnized indicates that such marriage is to be considered with care. It suggests that such decision is to be exercised with caution. The paramount must be the interest of the child. The parents are involved in the consideration. The judge has to decide upon the application with certain consideration in mind. To allow does not mean to encourage. The law needs to be flexible to cover certain situation of necessity. Life is complicated. There would come situation that warrant such flexibility in law. Prohibiting altogether child marriage makes the law rigid to cover every situation.
This does not mean that I agree with child marriage. A marriage may not be a solution to social problem. High rate divorce among young couple is a fact. This may lead to another social problem too. Further, it is difficult to expect a teenager to fully comprehend all implications in decision of that kind. It comes with responsibility, not only rights. For teenagers, being different from the others may be difficult to go through. Whilst education is seen as important investment for good future, to continue studying in a secondary school with other teenagers who are always seen as having greater freedom, marriage may later be seen as a burden. It could start being felt when having children. Any parent would agree that to raise a child is no easy task. It is difficult to comprehend how can a young teenager go through the difficult situation. Is she or he ready for such a patient-testing job?
On another account, I see something from the debates ensued; everything seems to be perceived with distrust. Man could no longer be trusted to devote his life for the happiness of a woman. Woman should be able to be independent for her own life so that her fate would not need to depend on the whim and fancy of the husband. The parents seem not to be believed to decide for the interest of the children. Somehow, it may be because of the fact of life currently. Things happening around us are real not to be ignored. It dictates our option and decision in life.
But prohibiting a child marriage may not be the answer. The law has limit in its role.