South Africa considers letting women have multiple husbands. Uproar follows

Published on Jun 29, 2021 03:55 PM IST

The government document has said that the legislation that regulates marriages in South Africa is not based on the provisions of the Constitution of the country.

The proposal has been put forward by South Africa’s home department.(Representative Photo)
The proposal has been put forward by South Africa’s home department.(Representative Photo)
By | Edited by Amit Chaturvedi, Hindustan Times, New Delhi

A proposal in South Africa to allow women to have multiple husbands has led to uproar among the conservative section of the country’s society. The green paper containing the proposal has been prepared by the country’s home department.

The polyandry proposal is one among the many in the green paper which seeks to make marriage more inclusive. But it has turned out to be the most controversial one.

The government has invited comments on the green paper till June 30. The paper was prepared in April, and opened for suggestions in May.

The government document has said that the legislation that regulates marriages in South Africa is not based on the provisions of the Constitution of the country. The law has some legacy issues, it further said.

“The purpose of the marriage policy is to establish a policy foundation for regulating the marriages of all persons that reside in SA. The envisaged marriage statute will enable South Africans and residents of all sexual orientations, religious and cultural persuasions to conclude legal marriages that will accord with the principles of equality, non-discrimination, human dignity and unity in diversity, as encapsulated in the Constitution,” the document said.

The government said that the green paper is based on extensive research and consultation, and the process began in 2019. Consultations were held with religious and traditional leaders as well had human rights activists. The rights activists said that the right to equality demands that polyandry be legally recognised, the government document further said.

But the opposition is fierce. One of the prominent faces to oppose the proposal is Musa Mseleku, a reality TV star. “Protecting our existence, our spiritual its important for both the current generation and future generations. Let us defend our culture, tradition and customs by participating in this process. Let us object to Polyandry outright,”. He said in a Facebook post.

South Africa has one of the most liberal constitutions and allows polygamy.

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