New Marital Rights Bill Makes Men in Kenya Nervous

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In Kenya, men are getting nervous about the marital rights being granted to women in a new bill. Backed by women's rights groups throughout the country, the bill states that polygamy would not be allowed in Christian or civil marriages. It is not uncommon for women to find out that their husband has partaken in a second marriage at his funeral, which can cause inheritance issues. One clause that is prompting the most discussion is that men have to fulfill a marriage pledge — they can be sued if they break their promise and if there are damages involved.

Additionally, the bill hopes to curb the common practice of girls being married off against their will by setting the minimum age of marriage to 18. Those who marry someone under 18 could be jailed for 5 years and/or fined $11,500 dollars. Underage marriage is a rampant issue in Kenya — underage brides often experience more violence than their counterparts.

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