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Right to equality: Outcry over South Africa considering letting women have multiple husbands

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Capetown, June 29: The South African government's proposal to allow women-have multiple husbands- has sparked widespread debate among the conservative section of the country's society.

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    The proposal to allow polyandry-when a woman has more than one husband at the same time- was included in green paper which has been prepared by the country's home department.

    Right to equality: Outcry over South Africa considering letting women have multiple husbands

    It should be noted that the South Africa already has one of the world's most liberal constitutions embracing Polygamy for men, and same-sex marriages that is legal in the country.

    The government has invited comments on the green paper till June 30. The paper was prepared in April, and opened for suggestions in May.

    The document also proposes giving legal recognition to Muslim, Hindu, Jewish and Rastafarian marriages.

    The document points out that the current law allows the marriage of minors and does not account for couples who change their sex and want to remain married without going through a divorce, among other flaws.

    "The purpose of the marriage policy is to establish a policy foundation for regulating the marriages of all persons that reside in SA. The envisaged marriage statute will enable South Africans and residents of all sexual orientations, religious and cultural persuasions to conclude legal marriages that will accord with the principles of equality, non-discrimination, human dignity and unity in diversity, as encapsulated in the Constitution," the document said.

    Now, in a bid to make marriage policy stronger, the the Department of Home Affairs consulted with traditional leaders as well as human rights activists and other groups on the key issues.

    The human rights activists "submitted that equality demands that polyandry be legally recognized as a form of marriage."

    But the opposition is fierce. One of the prominent faces Businessman and TV personality Musa Mseleku - who has four wives opposes the proposal.

    "This will destroy African culture. What about the children of those people? How will they know their identity?" asks Mr Mseleku, who stars in a South African reality TV show about his polygamous family.

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