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Abstract

In Indonesia, marriage contracts are still common. In addition to culture, women's reproductive rights are also strongly associated with poverty. The poverty factor is very influential in relation to quality of life and women's reproductive health. This article investigates the reproductive health rights of women under a marriage contract. Employing the descriptive qualitative method, the research was conducted in Pasuruan, East Java and Bogor, West Java, Indonesia. The selection of the research contexts was done purposively. This study shows that a marriage contract does not always imply the occurrence of sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse in a marriage contract may happen or be done by the couples involved if it becomes part of the terms agreed. Couples who engage in a marriage contract may not establish a sexual relationship if it is not part of the deal. The condition of women in a marriage contract who are generally poor and less educated impacts on their low level of awareness of the importance of reproductive health. Knowledge about reproductive health is often not a priority because they are more focused on working for the sake of survival. They are generally not able to access health care because they do not have the money to do so. In addition, poor women who live in remote villages also have problems accessing the health centres. This study indicates that the marriage contract in Indonesia is temporary or only for a certain agreed duration. This has a negative effect on the reproductive health of women. Pregnancy, birth and the presence of children born into a marriage contract are part of the agreement. Women do not fully have control over their reproductive rights in a marriage contract. Poverty and a lack of education of the women in such a marriage of course impacts on their low level of awareness of the importance of understanding their reproductive consciousness. Thus, in the marriage contract, the reproductive rights of women are not controlled by the women themselves. Rather, they need to be considered by the male partner. Reproductive health is not a priority because they are more focused on working for the sake of survival.

In Indonesia, marriage contracts are still common.In addition to culture, women's reproductive rights are also strongly associated with poverty. The poverty factor is very influential in relation to quality of life and women's reproductive health.This article investigates the reproductive health rights of women under a marriage contract. Employing the descriptive qualitative method, the research was conducted in Pasuruan, East Java and Bogor, West Java, Indonesia. The selection of the research contexts was done purposively. This study shows that a marriage contract does not always imply the occurrence of sexual intercourse. Sexual intercourse in a marriage contract may happen or be done by the couples involved if it becomes part of the terms agreed. Couples who engage in a marriage contract may not establish a sexual relationship if it is not part of the deal. The condition of women in a marriage contract who are generally poor and less educated impacts on their low level of awareness of the importance of reproductive health. Knowledge about reproductive health is often not a priority because they are more focused on working for the sake of survival. They are generally not able to access health care because they do not have the money to do so. In addition, poor women who live in remote villages also have problems accessing the health centres. This study indicates that the marriage contract in Indonesia is temporary or only for a certain agreed duration. This has a negative effect on the reproductive health of women. Pregnancy, birth and the presence of children born into a marriage contract are part of the agreement. Women do not fully have control over their reproductive rights in a marriage contract. Poverty and a lack of education of the women in such a marriage of course impacts on their low level of awareness of the importance of understanding their reproductive consciousness. Thus, in the marriage contract, the reproductive rights of women are not controlled by the women themselves. Rather, they need to be considered by the male partner. Reproductive health is not a priority because they are more focused on working for the sake of survival.

Note on the Author

Sri Endah Kinasih is a lecturer in Anthropology in the Faculty of Social and Political Science, Universitas Airlangga, Indonesia.

Toetik Koesbardiati is a lecturer in Anthropology in the Faculty of Social and Political Science, Universitas Airlangga, Indonesia.

Siti Mas'udah is a lecturer in Sociology in the Faculty of Social and Political Science, Universitas Airlangga, Indonesia.

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