KOTA KINABALU: The state government is going straight to the target groups in rural Ranau next week in an attempt to address child marriages that tend to take place more in communities in Sabah's remote areas.
Sabah Women Affairs Department (JHEWA), in a statement, said they will hold an awareness programme on the issue on Tuesday (July 9) at SMK Ulu Sugut.
Its director Masturah Jamrah said they decided on the rural location as the instance of child marriages were higher in remote areas.
"There are communities who conduct marriages without looking at the age of girls, especially those below 18 years old, thus not taking into account their physiology and psychology.
"With this programme, JHEWA hoped to bring awareness and knowledge to the children involved, their families and the society as a whole on this issue.
"The one-day programme is expected to be officiated by Sabah assistant Health and People's Well-Being minister Norazlinah Arif," she said in the press release Thursday (July 4).
About 500 participants are anticipated for the programme, ranging from teens aged between 13 to 17 years old, parents, counselors, guidance teachers and the school counselling support system, as well as those who act as facilitators or leaders in their communities.
After a three-day workshop on child marriages on Wednesday (July 3), Sabah law and native affairs assistant minister Jannie Lasimbang announced that the state government had formed a tasked force to oversee legal amendments to raise the minimum marriage age to 18 years.