Wednesday, April 25, 2007


The idea that we should give divorcees more rights in that event is gaining currency in Kenya with the claims that married women, whether employed or stay-at-home, contribute significantly to the acquisition of the family wealth. This may or may not be the truth; however, the application of the law should be done so in honesty, based on fact and not emotion or sentiment. Unless a credible argument can be made that the system as it is today is unconstitutional with regards to divorce settlements, then there is nothing that can be done in the way the courts interpret the Marriage Acts and other family laws.
The laws that we apply today in the deciding of family cases admittedly are archaic given the changed nature of the society. But, women and other interest groups have not done much to advance the cause of law reform in the last few years to address the inequalities inherent in the present system. I am not persuaded that the best way to proceed is the Indian or American way where 'activist' judges literally take the law into their own hands. The best way forward, the way that would avoid anarchy and confusion in the courts, would be to reform the relevant laws. Women and the youth form at least seventy per cent of the population of this country. Is it too much to ask that they combine their forces to thwart the retrograde policies of the old guard and the powers-that-be in Parliament today? Of course, there could always be violent demonstrations to indicate the level of displeasure inherent in the patriarchal systems of family being applied today!!!

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