Udayavni Special

South Africa might soon allow women to marry multiple husbands


Team Udayavani, Jun 29, 2021, 3:14 PM IST

Source: Unsplash

Women in South Africa will be allowed to marry more than one husband, like the men in the country are permitted to have multiple wives.

This move has been proposed by the country’s Department of Home Affairs, which is looking at creating a new marriage act and trying to make marriage more inclusive.

According to the Green Paper on Marriages, a policy document published this week, the current marriage act does not promote equality and the current marriage legislation is discriminatory as it does not recognize Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Rastafarian marriages.

BBC reported that the policy document also called for polyandry to be legally recognized as a form of marriage.

Before drafting the proposal, many human rights activists and other groups were consulted on the key issues. The human rights activists submitted that equality demands that polyandry be legally recognized as a form of marriage.

According to a report by the Independent, Kenneth Meshoe, leader of the opposition African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP) said that the proposed law would destroy society if the same marriage rights were extended to women.

Among the opponents is a businessman and TV personality Musa Mseleku, who himself has four wives.

Mseleku said, “This will destroy African culture. What about the children of those people? How will they know their identity? The woman cannot now take the role of the man. It’s unheard of. Will the woman now pay lobola [bride price] for the man. Will the man be expected to take her surname?”

South Africans have until the end of June to comment on the department’s proposals.

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