- The bill initially allowed the first wife the right to veto husband’s choice of additional spouses
- Male members of parliament successfully pushed to get that clause dropped
- Now the first wife has no say
A new law that went into effect in Kenya this week makes it legal for a man to marry as many women as he wants. And a leading women’s group is applauding it.
President Uhuru Kenyatta signed the polygamy measure into law Tuesday, formally recognizing what has long been a cultural practice in the nation.
Parliament passed the bill in March despite protests from female lawmakers who angrily stormed out of the late-night session at the time.
The bill initially allowed the first wife the right to veto the husband’s choice of additional spouses. Male members of parliament successfully pushed to get that clause dropped.
“Marriage is the voluntary union of a man and a woman whether in a monogamous or polygamous union,” Kenyatta said in a statement
. “The Marriage Act 2014 defines various types of marriages including monogamous, polygamous, customary, Christian, Islamic and Hindu marriages.”