May 5, 2014 By

Kenya Legalizes Polygamy

kenyaKenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta has signed a controversial bill into law legalizing polygamy.  The new law permits men to marry as many wives as they wish.

Several male MPs supported the bill, voting through the amendment while their female counterparts walked out of parliament in disgust stating that a decision to take on another wife would affect the whole family, including the financial position of other spouses. The bill was also opposed by Christian leaders who urged the president not to pass the law, saying that it undermined Christian principles of marriage and family. Traditionally, first wives are supposed to give prior approval.

The new law also bans marriages under eighteen years of age and specifies that all marriages be registered including customary unions. It also stipulates that women would be entitled to 50% of the property acquired during marriage.

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