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Africa

Parliament to review rejected women's rights law

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-08-27

After the country's high Islamic Council rejected a proposed new law strengthening women's rights, Mali's president Amadou Toumani Toure has asked Parliament to reconsider the law “to preserve social peace and calm".

AFP - Mali's President Amadou Toumani Toure said he has asked parliament to review a proposed new law strengthening the rights of women after it was rejected by the country's High Islamic Council.
   
"It's necessary to send the family law back for a second reading to preserve social peace and calm," Toure said in a speech broadcast Wednesday night on national radio.
   
A review would allow the legislation to win the "support and understanding" of fellow citizens, he said.
   
On Saturday some 50,000 people joined a demonstration in Bamako's main stadium, saying the new legislation was "an insult to the Koran."
   
The proposed new family law was adopted by the National Assembly at the beginning of August, but has yet to be signed into force by the president.
   
The review comes after consultations began Tuesday between Toure, parliamentarians and party representatives on whether the president should proceed with signing the law into force.
   
The proposed new legislation strengthens the rights of women by replacing the words "paternal power" with "parental authority" and states that "no marriage can be renounced."
   
It recognises civil marriages only, raises the legal age for marriage to 18 and would permit divorce if a husband and wife have lived apart for three years.
   
On matters of succession, it stipulates that a child born outside of marriage is also entitled to a share of any inheritance.
   
 

Date created : 2009-08-27

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