Proposed matrimonial property bill unfair to women



On Tuesday I watched the news like it was a horror movie. The MPs passed the matrimonial property bill with amendments. The male members of parliament ganged up to ensure that divorced couples would not share property equally irrespective of their contributions.

In Tuesday’s Daily Nation it says that the “The physical vote was 87-28 in favour of the amendment” What was more surprising is that there were 34 women MPs when the bill was being passed. This means that 6 women voted together with their male colleagues to pass this law.

“If there is any property to be divided, it must be in accordance with the share of each spouse’s contribution to the matrimonial property. It ensures that no one person just sits and waits for the other person,” said Mr Chepkong’a. (Daily Nation , November 12)

Then there was this

“While couples will share property according to their contributions, the burden of liabilities – loans and debts – will be borne equally as long as they are, as suggested by the committee, “for the benefit of the marriage.” Daily Nation.

First you want to deny women the right to get half of the matrimonial property when they get divorced. Then you want to screw the woman by making her responsible for her husband’s debts yet she does not get any of it.

That to me is very unfair. I think that going forward many women will be tempted to buy things in their own names and to forget about supporting their man to acquire things. By the way if we do not share in the wealth we should not share in the debts. This is a bill that should not be passed and if it is women organisations should go to court.

That is modern colonization. In most marriages that break up it is mostly the man who leaves because he has gotten a new model of wife. The man usually spends a lot of money wooing the new woman and usually buys extravagant gifts. Why should the poor wife who is being played pay for that? If a wife should be told to pay debts it should be for something she has signed for and a property for which she is benefiting!

For me it is a sad day for woman in Kenya. Those MP’s are so greedy that they want to make sure women who are home makers get nothing if their marriages break up. This is totally unfair. I would like to ask the MPs the question “can you pay your mother back for the time she spent on you?” It is priceless. Yet if your father divorced she would get nothing.

I am so mad that those selfish MPs cannot think beyond themselves when passing new laws. So many women sacrifice their career ambitions to raise their children because they believe that it is better if they are home to mould their children into what they want them to be. Women give up jobs 2 raise children but now the law will only recognize what wealth they brought into the marriage? How do you quantify TIME?

So many women want to do a lot for themselves. But they sacrifice their dreams to support a man to achieve his. To achieve his career ambitions, for him to buy that car, for him to buy that home or plot. They make sure that the kids are feed, that the children have done their homework, that the house is well run, so that when the man comes home from a hard day he can relax. And at the end of the day after the woman has run around either at the office or the home the man still expects the woman to give him his conjugal rights.

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So many women who are homemakers especially in the rural areas do not have land or things that were bought in their own name. They go to the shamba and work hard. The produce is rich but they do not get a salary. The money from the produce is given to the man who then gives her a percentage to buy things for the house. How will such a woman prove that she brought money into the household and bought things when she doesn’t have a paycheck? What will happen when this man wants to leave and there is nothing in her name? Everything is in the name of the man.

Then there are the wives of rich men. There are rich men who told their wives you do not have to work I will provide for you. So a woman gets used to an easy life. She needs money all she has to do is use a plastic card or use the atm. This woman has the best cars, the best houses, and the best of everything. Then one day this man decides that he doesn’t want to be with her anymore. He has gotten a newer, more beautiful model. What happens to this woman?

What is common for most women whether they are in formal or informal employment or business is that they are usually in charge of the house budget. They buy the food, items for the house and pay the maid, and other domestic workers. If the husband for example is the one paying the mortgage there is proof that he has paid for that. But the woman cannot say that she did the shopping. Whatever she has bought has been used up. Many men also take mortgages in their names but the couple are both directly or indirectly paying for it.

In an age where women are more educated and are getting better, well paying jobs, they bring more to the table in terms of money. They get house allowance etc. some couples live in company houses provided by the lady’s employer as part of her benefits. This allows the man to use his money to do other things like buy land with the money that he saves.

Women spend a lot of money on the home and sometimes take on the responsibilities of the man if he is irresponsible. They pay fees, they pay the rent etc. but when it comes down to it the man may have bought land somewhere and that is the only asset that they have. When the man leaves it is unfair that he goes with the land as the woman has put in money in places that she cannot recover the money.

This bill is unfair to women. The MP’s may not see but if it is passed one day it will come back to bite men back. As women get more empowered they are spending more money buying land and property in their own names. One day the shoe will be on the other foot and the men won’t be laughing. That day is coming and it is not so far away.

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