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New marriage bill angers women, lawyers

14 November 2013, 16:47

Nairobi - Women rights groups and law professionals expressed anger at the passage of a new Matrimonial Property Bill that seeks to compel divorcing partners to share wealth according to the parties’ contribution to its attainment.

The Federation of Women Lawyers (FIDA) described the attempts as biased.

“The mere fact that men had the numbers in the House should not be used to pass discriminatory laws against women,” the organisation stated.

The organisation further stated that majority of women contributed indirectly to the acquisition of wealth by taking care of the family and ensuring that men was in good shape to accumulate the wealth.

The Law Society of Kenya (LSK) stood in solidarity with FIDA and condemned the passing of the law.

“In our view that law is unconstitutional and should not be assented to,” said the LSK Chairperson, Erick Mutua.

The bill, in its current form, states that matrimonial property would be divided according to one’s contribution and not on the 50-50 basis that women Members of Parliament had proposed in the House.

FIDA and other women groups vowed to go to the courts to oppose the law if President Uhuru Kenyatta assents to the bill.

The Matrimonial Property Bill that awaits Presidential assent comes at a time when Kenyatta recently issued a statement stating that he would not assent to the controversial Media Bill that caused a public outcry over what was viewed as an attempt to gag the media.

– CAJ News


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