Kenya urged to repeal matrimonial property act

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Human rights

Kenya has been urged by a group of UN human rights experts to repeal sections of a law which may deny women the right to marital property upon divorce or death of their spouse.

Women will not be able to claim their right to property unless they can prove they made a contribution to its acquisition during their marriage.

UN independent expert Frances Raday said that very few Kenyan women will be able to demonstrate such a contribution, since only a small proportion may have land title deeds in their own names.

Ms Raday said the provisions of the act were what she called "serious retrogressive steps in the protection of women's equal access to land and property."

She added that they are in violation of Kenya's international and regional human rights obligations.

The Marriage and Property Act, which came into force in January this year, could result in many Kenyan women losing access to the lands where they live and farm.

Daniel Dickinson, United Nations

Duration: 1’02″

 

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