New Kenyan Constitution Bans Equality In Marriage
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New Kenyan Constitution Bans Equality In Marriage

Nairobi : Kenya | Jan 20, 2010 at 11:40 PM PST
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Draft Constitution

Last Tuesday, members of the Parliamentary Select Committee in Kenya voted against a clause in its new constitution to give women equal rights to men in marriage. What this means is that women will not have the same rights as men at the beginning of marriage, during marriage, and in divorce proceedings. In some tribal areas of Kenya, most marriages are arranged. This new clause in the Kenyan Constitution will give the man the choice of whether or not he wants to marry the woman that has been forced upon him. However, the woman does not have the right to disannul any arranged marriage in Kenya. During marriage, the clause gives the man total authority and superiority over the woman in Kenya. Kenya will return back to the Stone Age because the Kenyan government has now given the men the legal right to abuse and to degrade their wives without repercussions. In divorce proceedings, a woman will not receive a 50/50 split of assets from the man.

This constitution in Kenya also banned same-sex marriage. Sub-clause 42 (3) has been taken out of the constitution which stated, "Every adult has the right to found a family." Therefore, it is now unconstitutional for a homosexual or lesbian couple to be married and for a same-sex couple to even adopt a child in Kenya.

Finally, the Kenyan Constitution decided not to include a clause which would have banned abortion within the country. The clause would have stated that life begins at conception instead of when the child is born nine months later.

The Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) of Kenya decided on these controversial clauses by having the members vote on these issues. There are 21 men and 5 women on committee. The women opposed the taking away of women's rights in marriage, but they were outnumbered 21 to 5. More people need to stand up against the discrimination of women so that this constitutional ban does not occur in another country in the world.

Adrian Holman is based in Joliet, Illinois, United States of America, and is an Anchor for Allvoices.
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