14 Aug 2018

Strong support for raising marriage age in American Samoa

12:47 pm on 14 August 2018

There's been strong support for raising the age that young women are allowed to marry at a forum in American Samoa.

Panelists at a forum in American Samo on raising the marriage age. Aso Ve'a is on the right.

Photo: RNZ/Monica MIller

A bill raising the age from 14 to 18 has passed its final reading in the House of Representatives and now goes to the Senate for approval.

A youth panellist Aso Ve'a was among those at the forum who questioned whether 14 year olds could cope with early marriage.

"I would at least have to wait for three to four years while I'm 14 up until 18.19, 20 to prepare financially and be financially stable to take care of the children that I'm going to make when I marry at 14 .

"Am I spiritually ready? No. I'm still in progress with my relationship with God so I say just wait."

The forum was hosted by Pae ma le Auli which advocates for the advancement of women and promotes the use of traditional means to resolve social issues.

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