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Syria: Women’s Rights in Light of New Amendments to Syrian Personal Status Law

(Apr. 8, 2019) On February 5, 2019, the People’s Assembly of Syria approved amendments to more than 60 articles of the Personal Status Law issued by Legislative Decree No. 59 of 1953. (President al-Assad Issues Law Amending Certain Articles of Personal Status Law Issued by Legislative Decree No. 59 of 1953 and Its Amendments, SYRIAN […]

Egypt: Grand Imam Issues Religious Opinion Calling Polygamy Oppression of Women

(Mar. 18, 2019) Sheikh Ahmed El-Tayeb, the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar (the main religious institution in the Sunni Muslim world), stated on March 2, 2019, that the Qur’anic teachings concerning polygamy have been misunderstood and distorted, with the result that polygamy has been used in a way that is unfair to women. El-Tayeb argued that […]

Guinea: President Refuses to Approve New Civil Code Legalizing Polygamy

(Jan. 28, 2019) On December 29, 2018, the Guinean Parliament adopted a new Civil Code to replace the one that Guinea has had since 1983. (Guinean Civil Code: Some Advances for Women, but Polygamy Legalized, RFI AFRIQUE (Dec. 31, 2018) (in French); NEW CIVIL CODE (DRAFT), Feb. 2016, Guinea Millenium Challenge Corporation (MCC Guinée) website.) However, […]

Brazil: Registrar Offices Not Allowed to Record Affective Relationships Between Multiple Persons as Stable Unions

(July 5, 2018) The National Council of Justice (Conselho Nacional de Justiça, CNJ) decided by a majority of votes that registrar offices (cartórios) cannot register affective relationships between multiple persons as stable unions. The decision was made on June 26, 2018, in response to a request made in 2016 by the Association of Family Law […]

Burma: Four “Race and Religion Protection Laws” Adopted

(Sept. 14, 2015) Four laws known collectively as the Race and Religion Protection Laws, which were submitted to the Parliament of Burma (Myanmar) in December 2014, were adopted this spring by the Parliament and recently signed by Thein Sein, Burma’s President. (Myanmar: Parliament Must Reject Discriminatory ‘Race and Religion’ Laws, Amnesty International website (Mar. 3, […]

Indonesia: Defense Ministry Circulates Polygamy Rules

(Aug. 12, 2015) As of July 22, 2015, Indonesia’s Defense Ministry has explicitly allowed employees to enter into polygamous marriages. (Defense Ministry Permits Polygamy, JAKARTA POST (Aug. 7, 2015).) Such marriages are legal in Indonesia in limited circumstances under the Marriage Law. That Law states, “(1) [i]n principle, a man may be married to one […]

Kenya: Comprehensive Marriage Law Enacted

(May 2, 2014) On April 29, 2014, President Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya signed into law the Marriage Bill, 2014, a comprehensive law consolidating various laws governing religious, customary, and civil marriages and divorces in the country. (President Kenyatta Assents to Marriage and Heroes Bills, The Presidency website (Apr. 29, 2014).) The legislation, adopted by the […]