|Marriage certificates not licence to conjugal rights: Law expert|
|Thursday, 02 December 2010 22:11|
MARRIAGE certificates should not be taken as a licence for consent to conjugal rights, a human rights activist said on Tuesday.
Addressing members of the community at a one-day workshop organised by the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development in Bulawayo’s Richmond suburb, the Legal Resources Foundation paralegal officer, Mr Albert Gasela, said a majority of men think women are not in a position to make their own decisions once they get married.
He said as long as the woman does not consent to sex even with her legally married husband, the act would be considered as rape in terms of the law.
He said the objective of the workshop was to empower women to be able to handle or address marriage issues in relation to the law and property, as well as raising awareness on socio-economic rights.
“People are more concerned about political issues than other socio-economic rights that affect their day-to day lives. We want people to be able to check and assess if such issues are included in the new constitution.”
Reigate district development officer in the Ministry of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Mrs Nomzamo Mpofu, said most women were not knowledgeable in the different types of marriages in the country.
“We realised that most women are not aware of the type of marriage they engage in and how it affects their lives. They only discover their mistakes when it comes to inheritance and when they get into problems, thus our main objective is to highlight legal issues that affect women,” said Mrs Mpofu.
She said the major problems that affect women and children were related to inheritance.