It is universally acknowledged that children are the next generation to preserve the continuation of the world. Saving their future means saving human civilisation from extinction. But what if the terms reversed into “Saving time from parenthood means preserving the civilisation”? Would it be controversial if the focus changed towards the fundamental source these babies are conceived in, instead of the production these source has manufactured?. Would it be self-centred if, we the elders, take longer time to indulge our adolescence and forge our adulthood, before preparing our mind and body for giving a birth to another living being?. In the western hemisphere where individual freedom is enshrined, these questions might receive the “No” answer. But, in the southern hemisphere or in third world party, where tradition and customary laws gave no deliverance on rights to choose, these mind-set would never be prevailed.
When I was a young girl, I remembered my parents drove me home from extensive class to prepare for high school enrollment. As they chattered on the front seats, I was drown into my own thoughts, enjoying solitary moment while staring at the trees we passed through. However, when we stopped at the traffic lamp, my attention caught onto a young women in pregnancy, who were walking unsteadily through the crossover. Her bloated tummy seemed heavy under her strained shoulders. Behind her, elementary pupils who were still in their red and white uniforms pacing up briskly and laughing at childish jokes. Something which can only be understood by their peers. Several persons were sticking around before them. As I looked at that distraction, my mind suddenly questioned, “Why can’t people stop breeding in their early ages?”. My school crowded with newly elementary graduates racing up to administration room. When I came to my future high school for registration, I faced the same situation as what I saw at Junior High School. These kids came from nowhere! Still, hundreds of them were scattered around the streets, dirty public spaces, and slumps. Neglected without proper housing and education. The world’s getting dense but women keep giving a birth to a baby number 11.
As I tried to find the answer for my concern, I later assumed that the one main factor of this breeding phenomena was civilization. Based on this presumption, I gradually believe that the prime actor of civilization is human being and in order to keep civilization preserved, human being must produce successors. Since I was in elementary school, one subject related to civics and citizenship, preached me and friends to adherent that the key success to give substance in nation’s independence is youth generation. A smart and devout to Pancasila-young men are the hopes for Indonesia’s future. As well as other countries and its constitutions. But, how to manifest an excellent youth to the world without conducive environment?. In sociology, family is considered to be the first social system. The system where personal characters are figured in. Hence, what kind of young generation our civilization expect to have if these children nurtured by some immature girls who are ignorance of childbearing?
Indeed, independence and civilization needed scribers to create social system, philosophers to think about ontology, artist to paint and sculpt, poet to beautify language into a proverbs, and politicians to spice up governance. Nevertheless, labour needed control and women who happened to be the “Holy Grail” must have rights to command. This is crucial since in the southern world’s hemisphere where tradition and customary law remain imposed, women were not suppose to deffer or to reject the timing of having family. As the girls blossomed and been capable enough to understand their assigned-role, they were endorsed to get married with or without beloved partner. It seemed like having family was the main objective of all societies, which in my opinion, was a degenerated mind-set of preserving civilization. I did not offense against family institution nor my tradition but somehow, these girls required times. They entitled for chances to wear their shoes off to schools, chances to join organization or extracurricular, chances to take courses, chances to leave home and be in adventures, chances to gain curfew for meeting boys who eventually broke their hearts, and when they were old enough, they would have chances to wear their heels and build carrier.
Long time ago, before monotheistic era, there were some pagan societies inhabited around ancient Egypt, Greece, and Rome. In these communal population, ain’t no significant segregation in roles individual can obtain. Men and Women were seen as an equal creature. Even, women were worshiped for her ability to give a birth. In ancient Egypt, its not a taboo for men to cult on Isis. While in Rome, people pray to Venus for love and fertility. One of the foremost leader in Roman Empire, Julius Ceasar, admited Venus as one of his Goddess. However, After three monotheistic religions certified, society organized into two supreme gender which is assigned by birth-sex. Male and Female. If in pagan, woman like Athena still make strategy and join the war with Ares, meanwhile Artemisia became Chief of Commander in Persian Navy, in monotheistic era, women were assigned to stay at house, vowed to be loyal and to look after the babies while their husbands pledged for Crusade. Engle’s in The Origin of Family, Private Property, and The State (1884) wrote that :
“The overthrow of mother-right was world historical defeat of female-sex. Men took command in home also and women was degraded and reduce to servitude. She became the slave of his lust and a mere instrument of the production of children.”
There is no prohibition for men, customs, tradition, nor society to utilize women’s power to bear an heir. However, these female human being proposed some time. When Gaia gave a birth to Oceanus, it took more than 1,2 billion years. Following the birth of ocean, Gaia required 3 million more years to manifest the first living organism. In then end, it took the whole tenure of Gaia’s lifetime to form such an advance vertebrates together with their civilization. In Karen Armstrong book, The History of God (1998) Uranus and Gaia created Olympus after hundreds of years intervene. Which according to cosmic calendar, happened over 200 billion years ago when Big Bang gradually formed universe constellation. If universe rendered time for Gaia to prepare herself, then why customs would not give the girls time to thrive within their adolescence before ready for maternity?. Aristotle did not come to across Democracy merely as a degeneration style of governance in nation-state system. Then, If customs became tyrant, why didn’t we try to implement democracy not only in urban area but also in every single rural area?. If democracy is too complex for governance-wise especially in third world countries and too desert for radical nations. In ethics, the custom leaders are not suppose to be reluctant to educate women about health care and house-nursing. Providing them maternity insurance and allowance. Supporting them with basic knowledge in vocational course. Smart heirs wont come from incapable mothers and world’s civilization wont be preserved in the hands of reckless generation.
According to http://www.care.org, one of nine girls is forced into marriage before her fifteen birthday. Previously, I signed petition in http://www.thepetitionsite.com to stop force marriage in Yemen for an eight year old girl named Rawan, must lose her life due to premature intercourse with her 40 years old husband. Al Jazeera reported that in Sub-Sahara African, 37% women are married before her 18 birthday. Meanwhile UNICEF calculated that 46% women in South Asia of age 20-24 were married before entering age of 18. With over 200 million women around the world are incapable to use contraception (Planned Parenthood Federation) it is relevance if 45.5 in 1000 women population would have given a birth within age of 15-19 (world bank database 2013). In result, there would have been 4.3 birth in every second.
Next year, Indonesia will be facing ASEAN Community in the aim for economic integrity as well as tighten the bond of Southern Asia citizens within culture and borderless civilization. But, would Indonesia be ready if 22% of young girls population still enter marriage before age of eighteen, 2.5 million children drop out from schools (UNICEF 2012), 17% childbirth conducted without proper procedures (Every Child Counts, 2014), and 40 of 1000 toddler population declared dead from malnutrition and maternal ignorance. The projection might be our nation-youth become subordinates within their own nation-state.
Globally, Started in the late September 2014, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), formed The Post-2015 Development Agenda to discuss eleven thematic consultation about conflict and fragile, education, environmental sustainability, governance, growth and employment, health, hunger, food and nutrition, inequalities, population dynamics, energy and water. This is the defining moment for women’s rights to demand an amendment to rise marriageable age of female consent.
If certify all children are taken care is overwhelm, then safeguard the mothers. Let them be the authorities to plan maternity, strategy of nurture, and financial independence. Focus, must be targeted on the parenthood. Ann Dunham does not live to see Barack Obama in office but somehow she already plant an essence within the 44th President of The United State of America. Thus, bring this concern to the MDGs Council as an important issue in expectation that UN Secretary-General will take a glance. Then, by the end of 2014 when Ban Ki-Moon will deliver his synthesis report to the council, women rights to postpone the parenthood in the sake of personal enhancement will be discoursed as one of crucial agenda alongside maternal health in the context of Inequalities, Education, and Environmental Sustainability. It is not exaggerate if the outcome of The Post-2015 Development Agenda in September 2015 against women, would be session to addendumed Humanitarian Law. Particularly in Indonesia, before 2030 of timeline’s agenda, hopefully, the young women will witnessed a new section in article six of Marriage Act which firmly state a protection to their adolescence. In the name of preserving world’s civilization, save her the time to thrive. The best strategy comes from practice and deep contemplation. It is not too late.