World Video | Defence | Foreign Affairs | Natural Events | Trade | NZ in World News | NZ National News Video | NZ Regional News | Search

 


Rights experts urge Kenya to repeal discriminatory sections

UN human rights experts urge Kenya to repeal discriminatory sections in Matrimonial Property Act

GENEVA (17 February 2014) – A group of United Nations human rights experts today urged Kenya to repeal sections of the Marriage and Property Act which effectively deny women the right to marital property upon divorce or death of their spouse, unless they can prove they made a contribution to the acquisition of the property during their marriage.

“It is expected that very few women will be able to demonstrate such a contribution under the new provisions, since few Kenyan women have land title deeds in their own names and even less hold deeds jointly with men,” warned independent expert Frances Raday, who currently heads the UN Working Group on discrimination against women in law and practice.

“Such provisions are serious retrogressive steps in the protection of women’s equal access to land and property, and are in violation of Kenya’s international and regional human rights obligations,” Ms. Raday stressed. “They clearly discriminate against Kenyan women and are squarely at odds with equality provisions enshrined in the Kenyan Constitution.”

The Act, which came into force on 16 January 2014, could result in many Kenyan women losing access to the lands where they live and farm. Many rural households in Kenya are headed by women, who rely on the land not only to produce food, but also on the income generated by it to access health care services and educational opportunities for themselves and their families.

“Women will effectively have no security of tenure, or place to live with their children if their husband leaves them or dies, which will also increase their risk of experiencing violence,” the expert added. “The passage of the Act will have a detrimental impact on the right to food, the right to adequate housing and the right to an adequate standard of living for Kenyan women, children and communities.”

Ms. Raday’ appeal has also been endorsed by the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda; the Special Rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier De Schutter; the Special Rapporteur on Violence Against Women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, and the Special Rapporteur on adequate housing, Raquel Rolnik.

“We regret the promulgation of this legislation in its current form and urge the Government of Kenya to repeal discriminatory sections of this Act, and to continue with the country’s advances towards full equality between men and women as established in the Kenyan Constitution,” the group of experts stated.

The Special Rapporteurs have engaged with the Kenyan Government concerning the provisions in question of the Marriage and Property Act, and expressed their readiness to assist the authorities in reviewing and bringing the Act into line with international human rights standards.

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Westminster: NZ PM Condemns London Attack

“London is a place many thousands of New Zealanders have visited and called home, and where many more have friends and family based, so this attack feels very close to home,” Mr English says. More>>

ALSO:

Amnesty: Campaign Mass Hangings And Extermination At Syrian Prison

A chilling new report by Amnesty International exposes the Syrian government’s calculated campaign of extrajudicial executions by mass hangings at Saydnaya Prison. Between 2011 and 2015, every week and often twice a week, groups of up to 50 people ... More>>

Russian Hack Job?: White House - Actions In Response To Russian Malicious Cyber Activity & Harassment

President Obama authorized a number of actions in response to the Russian government’s aggressive harassment of U.S. officials and cyber operations aimed at the U.S. election in 2016. More>>

Israel/Palestine: Michael Field - Background To How Israel Nearly Went To War With New Zealand

New Zealand and Senegal managed to get the United Nations Security Council to pass resolution 2334 which said Israel’s settlements in Palestinian territory violate international law and undermine a two-state solution in Israel's conflict with Palestine. More>>

ALSO:

US Indigenous Affairs: How President Obama Has Protected Our Sacred Land

I am very proud to be both Navajo and American. As the President of the Navajo Nation, I’ve dedicated my life to ensuring that, as a Navajo, my story -- and our stories -- are part of our collective American history. Today, I want to share one of those stories with you. More>>

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news