Amata supports raising marriage age for girls
Sat, 08/18/2018 - 1:33pm
Source: Congresswoman Aumua Amata Office, Washington D.C.
Pago Pago, AMERICAN SAMOA — Congresswoman Aumua Amata released the following statement supporting raising the marriage age in American Samoa:
"Sometimes the most important decisions we make as people are not about the day-to-day basics like the budget and government services, but decisions that go more deeply into our own values.
Currently our Territory is debating the best age to allow our girls to marry. My own grandmother Amataupulevasegaotupu Aumua married at age 14 and went on to a wonderful life. I also believe that times change and that a few more years maturity can make a great deal of difference for our young women and benefit their well-being. Our Territory's priority in this should be to do what's best for our girls, and I believe the time is right for a change.
The authority to determine a specific age law belongs wholly to the Fono and is not a federal issue. However, there are very recent precedents from elsewhere in the U.S. that bear consideration. Just last month, the state of Missouri decided to raise the marriage age from 15 to age 16 with restrictions until 18, and similar efforts are taking place throughout the Nation.
"I also believe that as a people it is an important principle to treat our young men and young women equitably. For these reasons, I want to publicly express my support for raising the marriage age for our girls."