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Kenya – The Marriage Act No. 4 of 2014

Sections 2, 3 and 6 of Kenya’s Marriage Act No. 4 of 2014 allow a man to have more than one wife.

The Marriage Act No. 4 of 2014

  • Country: Kenya
  • Law status: Discriminatory law in force
  • Law Type: Marriage, Divorce, Polygamy & Wife Obedience

Sex discrimination in marital status laws renders women and girls subordinate in many aspects of family relations before, during and after marriage.

Women in polygamous marriages may face severe financial loss, including inheritance rights, and potentially fatal health problems such as HIV/AIDS due to their husband having multiple sexual partners.

Sections 2, 3 and 6 of Kenya’s Marriage Act No. 4 of 2014 allow a man to have more than one wife.

Section 2. In this Act, unless the context otherwise requires—”polygamy” means the state or practice of a man having more than one wife simultaneously.

Section 3. (1) Marriage is the voluntary union of a man and a woman whether in a monogamous or polygamous union and registered in accordance with this Act . . . (3) All marriages registered under this Act have the same legal status.

Section 6. (1) A marriage may be registered under this Act if it is celebrated . . . (c) in accordance with the customary rites relating to any of the communities in Kenya . . . (3) A marriage celebrated under customary law or Islamic law is presumed to be polygamous or potentially polygamous

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