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

 


Kenya Must Stop Discrimination in Marriage Property Act - UN

UN Experts Urge Kenya to Repeal Discriminatory Sections of Marriage Property Act

New York, Feb 17 2014 - United Nations human rights experts today urged Kenya to repeal sections of its Marriage and Property Act which effectively strip women of 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.

Calling the provisions "serious retrogressive steps" in the protection of women's equal access to land and property, Ms. Raday stressed in a news release issued by the Geneva-based Working Group, that they are also in violation of Kenya's international and regional human rights obligations.

"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," said Ms. Raday, adding: "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's appeal has been endorsed by a host of other UN independent experts, including: Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda; the UN 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.

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

Special rapporteurs are appointed by the Geneva-based UN Human Rights Council to examine and report back, in an unpaid capacity, on specific human rights themes.

For more details go to UN News Centre at http://www.un.org/news

ENDS

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
World Headlines

 

Gordon Campbell: On The Death Of Fidel Castro

New Zealand likes to think we played our part – via the 1981 Springbok tour – in bringing the apartheid regime in South Africa to an end… Jacob Zuma treated the death of Fidel Castro at the weekend as an occasion to pay a heartfelt tribute to the thousands of Cuban soldiers who travelled across the world to inflict the first significant military defeat on the forces of white supremacy. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The US Election Home Stretch

Once again at the business end of a US election, the result will hinge on the same old bits of geography as always: the Five Crucial Counties in Ohio, the Two Crucial Counties in Pennsylvania and the I-4 Interstate Corridor in Florida that runs from Tampa Bay through Orlando to Daytona Beach. More>>

ALSO:

Meanwhile:

Haiti: $5 Million To Kick-Start Aid In Wake Of Hurricane Matthew

UN emergency fund allocates $5 million to kick-start assistance in wake of Hurricane Matthew More>>

ALSO:

Preliminary Results: MH17 Investigation Report

The Joint Investigation Team (JIT) is convinced of having obtained irrefutable evidence to establish that on 17 July 2014, flight MH-17 was shot down by a BUK missile from the 9M38-series. According to the JIT there is also evidence identifying the launch location that involves an agricultural field near Pervomaiskyi which, at the time, was controlled by pro-Russian fighters. More>>

ALSO:

Not Helen Clark: António Guterres Favourite For Next UN Secretary-General

Former Portuguese Prime Minister António Guterres has emerged as the clear favourite to become the next United Nations Secretary-General following the sixth secret ballot held today by the UN Security Council, which is expected to take a formal decision tomorrow and forward Mr. Guterres’ name to the 193-Member General Assembly for final confirmation. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The End Game In Spain (And Other World News)

The coverage of international news seems almost entirely dependent on a random selection of whatever some overseas news agency happens to be carrying overnight... Here are a few interesting international stories that have largely flown beneath the radar this past week. More>>

Amnesty/Human Rights Watch: Appalling Abuse, Neglect Of Refugees On Nauru

Refugees and asylum seekers on Nauru, most of whom have been held there for three years, routinely face neglect by health workers and other service providers who have been hired by the Australian government, as well as frequent unpunished assaults by local Nauruans. More>>

ALSO:

Other Australian Detention

Get More From Scoop

 
 
 
 
World
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news