DR Congo - Law 87-010 on the Family Code - Equality Now

DR Congo - Law 87-010 on the Family Code

  • Country: Democratic Republic of Congo
  • Law status: Discriminatory law in force
  • Law Type: Marriage, Divorce, Polygamy & Wife Obedience

Articles 444, 448, 450, 454 and 497 of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Family Code of 1987 provide that a husband is head of the household and a wife must obey him, a wife must obtain her husband’s permission to provide a personal service and for all legal actions, a husband determines the family residence, and a husband can assume control over his wife’s property.

Article 444. The husband is the head of household. He must protect his wife; she must obey her husband.

Article 448. The wife must obtain the permission of her husband on all legal acts which require her to provide a service that must be given in person.

Article 450. Subject to the exceptions below and those contained in the matrimonial regime, the wife cannot appear in court on civil matters, acquire, sell or undertake commitments without the authorization of her husband. If the husband refuses to authorize his wife, authorization may be given by a judge. The husband can give general authorization, but he still retains the right to revoke it.

Article 454. The wife is obliged to live with her husband and follow him wherever he sees fit to reside; the husband is obliged to accommodate her.

Article 497. Property acquired by the wife in the exercise of a profession separate from that of her husband and resulting savings constitute assets that she manages and administers. If the management and administration of such property by the woman affects the harmony and the pecuniary interests of the household, the husband can undertake them. The woman may appeal the decision at the peace court . . .

Link to full law


Article 12 of the Constitution of the Democratic Republic of Congo: All Congolese are equal before the law and entitled to equal protection under it.

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