KZN ANC to rally against inclusion of polyandry in Marriage Act
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The ANC in KwaZulu-Natal says it will rally its structures in the province, the traditional leadership and the people to stand up against the inclusion of polyandry in the Marriage Act.
The ANC PEC in KZN slammed the aspect allowing for polyandry (a marriage of a woman to two or more men at the same time) in the newly gazetted green paper for the Marriage Act published by the Department of Home Affairs earlier this month, saying that there was no convincing explanation for polyandry.
The party’s provincial secretary, Mdumiseni Ntuli, was earlier at pains to explain that their opposition to polyandry was not in defence of polygamy, but that polyandry was not a contribution to fighting patriarchy faced by women in South Africa.
Ntuli said this was not in any way introducing an intervention that is required in terms of addressing the plight of South African women. Ntuli was speaking during a media briefing following the meeting of the ANC provincial executive committee (PEC) over the weekend.
“There’s no convincing explanation today, we believe that there won’t be any convincing explanation in the future.
’’Our conception of our revolution, of a national liberation movement, was that women suffer from triple oppression. Have we resolved that contradiction? Standing here, I know we haven’t.
“We believe that we must not be diverted away from that. Let’s deal with the oppression of women by virtue of being African black women, let’s deal with the oppression of women as a class.
“You know, like I do, that in many workplaces in this country as elsewhere in the world women still do the same kind of work that men do but they do not get paid the same amount of money.
’’That’s the struggle we should be waging, that’s what we should be focusing on if we want to deal decisively with the oppression of women,” Ntuli said.
He said that women were not concerned about getting multiple husbands, but were concerned about being players in the country’s economy and that the patriarchy that they suffer from each day is defeated.
“There is no plausible explanation that if a woman marries more than one man we are reducing patriarchy, that if a woman marries more than one man we are addressing inequality in the context of economic emancipation for which the women of our country are actually fighting for.
“We are opposed to this (polyandry), we don’t think it is the correct way to go and we are going to engage structures of the ANC in KwaZulu-Natal, the traditional leadership and the people of KwaZulu-Natal to stand up and say this is not any way introducing an intervention that is required in terms of addressing the plight of our women,” Ntuli said.
He added that the PEC believed that at the heart of this national discourse on the proposed marriage bill must be a commitment to improve our current conditions and or to redress the imbalances of the past.
“The PEC believes that new laws must be enacted with an intention to improve human conditions or to change course away from colonialism and apartheid laws.
’’It is perfectly clear that the current proposal on polyandry is without any concrete and convincing substance to be supported by the African National Congress in KwaZulu-Natal,” Ntuli said.