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The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HERO) Made possible through funding form the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

How Better Data Helped End Child Marriage in Indonesia



A nonprofit’s grassroots data collection successfully pushed for a child marriage ban in Indonesia, a significant step to reduce female poverty.

Indonesia has the eighth highest number of child marriages in the world. Beyond being a human rights issue, child marriage significantly increases the chance of domestic violence, dropping out of school, and poverty. Misiyah Misiyah, founder and director of feminist organization Institut KAPAL Perempuan, wanted to convince Indonesian President Joko Widodo to increase the legal marriage age from 16 to 19, which could dramatically decrease the rate of child marriage. To do that, she and her colleagues came equipped with reams of data.

On the season finale of the Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women, we hear how Misiyah collected grassroots data and used it to build a powerful case to ban child marriage in Indonesia. Later in the episode, host Reena Ninan speaks with Mabel van Oranje, founder of Girls Not Brides and VOW for Girls, about the most effective ways to decrease child marriage globally.

Special thanks this week to Alison Holder from Equal Measures 2030, who recommended we talk to Misiyah. You should check out their latest report on countries’ progress toward gender equality and sustainable development goals; it’s pretty sobering. Also, thank you to In-Depth Creative, a lovely podcast company based in Jakarta, Indonesia. They helped produce our interview with Misiyah. The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women is a Foreign Policy podcast made possible through funding by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

About The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HERO):  Could empowering women in the workplace be the simplest way to boost the global economy moving? Host Reena Ninan talks to women around the world changing the status quo in surprising ways to improve their lives, their families, and ultimately, the world. The Hidden Economics of Remarkable Women (HER♀) is a Foreign Policy podcast supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. HER listeners can learn more about these topics by signing up for special access to an FP Analytics policy brief on gender equality. Sign up by clicking here.  See All Episodes


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