Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Proposed Marriage Laws Raise Storm

From Kenya-

The three Bills set to radically transform the family, property and rights triggered a storm on Tuesday with religious groups and the civil society taking extreme positions.

A section of the religious fraternity vowed to oppose the Bills even as gender activists and human rights organisations welcomed them.

In separate interviews, Muslims vowed to reject the draft Bills while the Anglican Church of Kenya (ACK) called for wider consultations. But the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights and gender activists welcomed the Bills, saying they were "long overdue".

The reactions followed the tabling of the Marriage Bill, the Matrimonial Property Bill and the Family Protection Bill before the Cabinet by Gender Affairs minister Esther Murugi last Thursday.

The Cabinet, chaired by President Kibaki, deferred House debate on the three Bills reportedly to allow for "further consultations" between MPs and other stakeholders, amid concerns from gender activists that the ministers had shot them down.

Two ministers, who we cannot name because they are not allowed to disclose Cabinet secrets, have since allayed such fears, saying that the Cabinet had only suggested that the Bills be consolidated into one piece of legislation because they are related.

More here-

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