I think I've asked before and I'll ask again, why do so many African women get all up in arms about polygamy? From anecdotes, it can be inferred that up to half of adult African men have more than one woman - whether traditionally married, baby mama married, concubined, mistressed, sugar daddied, what have you. Also, most of our cultures accept it, and so if majority of Kenyan MPs are for it, then I think it makes sense for them to harmonize their civil and traditional laws.
The new bill yet to be signed into law, bans marriage for those under 18, bans bride price payments and states women are entitled to 30% of matrimonial property.
Polygamy is to be legalized. This allows men to marry more wives without consulting other spouses. According to BBC, the law is meant to bring civil law, where some cultures allow multiple partners.
Male legislators of the parliamentary voted to amend the bill to allow men take as many wives as they like without consulting their existing spouses. First wives are supposed to be notified traditionally.
Outnumbered by their male counterparts, a good number of females walked out in disgust over the matter.
The bill has been passed on to President Uhuru Kenyatta to be signed.
I laughed reading this post on Bellanaija. Maybe the Kenyan president won't sign it.
But seriously, fighting polygamy is equivalent to fighting fellow women, especially in our patriarchal culture that means that resources are mostly, and sometimes only, accessed through male consorts and children, preferably male. So what we need are structures and laws that will favor and open up assets to women and girls.
And these are the good things about this law that are now being overshadowed by the polygamy issue. The law, "bans marriage for those under 18, bans bride price payments and states women are entitled to 30% of matrimonial property". It's good to have these things spelt out to start protecting the interests of vulnerable women.
Maybe what the women should be going for is a law that forbids adultery. If you have one wife 0, or five wives 0, you must be faithful to them. Fines and penalties should be suitably drastic, like 50 years in jail. Just joking, lol...maybe divorce by all the wives who split all property between them and nothing for the man :)
For those that want it too, that laws should be made gender neutral, so that women can marry more than one man too, and will be bound by the adultery law too.
What do you think about polygamy and other issues about marriage in Africa that this bill addresses? Is there a law in Nigeria that determines what a woman receives on divorce? Does our marriage act say anything about bride price and alimony? We already know it does not state the age of marriage...pscheew...