The most comprehensive compilation of information on the status of
women in the world.

Latest items for POLY-LAW-2

April 4, 2020, 8:45 a.m.
Countries: Rwanda
Variables: MARR-PRACTICE-4, PW-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"The Committee notes with concern that women in non-formal unions, including women married under customary law or in polygamous unions, lack legal protection, as the law recognizes only civil monogamous marriages between women and men. It notes that, accordingly, women in non-formal relationships have no entitlements to a share of their partner’s assets, including land" (14).
Feb. 24, 2020, 9:13 a.m.
Countries: Cameroon
Variables: IAD-PRACTICE-1, POLY-LAW-2

"En ce qui concerne l’accès à la terre et la gestion des ressources, la femme n’hérite pas autant que ses frères utérins. Elle n’a qu’un droit d’usage sur les ressources. Seuls les hommes ont le droit de posséder la terre, et dans le cas des ménages polygamiques, les femmes épousant le même homme sont appelées à cultiver les terres appartenant à leur époux" (para 4). Translation: With regard to access to land and management of resources, women do not inherit as much as their uterine brothers. It has only a right of use over resources. Only men have the right to own the land, and in the case of polygamous...more
Feb. 22, 2020, 11:38 p.m.
Countries: Cameroon
Variables: POLY-LAW-2

"La coutume influence significativement le statut des femmes surtout dans les zones rurales. En ce qui concerne l’accès à la terre et la gestion des ressources, la femme n’hérite pas autant que ses frères utérins. Elle n’a qu’un droit d’usage sur les ressources. Seuls les hommes ont le droit de posséder la terre, et dans le cas des ménages polygamiques, les femmes épousant le même homme sont appelées à cultiver les terres appartenant à leur époux" (20). Translation: Custom significantly influences the status of the women, especially in rural areas. Regarding the access to land and resource management. She does not inherit as much as her brothers. She only has...more
Feb. 7, 2020, 4:22 p.m.
Countries: Djibouti
Variables: POLY-LAW-2

“Article 114 : Deux cas se présentent quand il y a une ou plusieurs épouses : 1°) Le quart est attribué à une ou plusieurs épouses en cas d’absence de descendants du mari ou de descendants du fils, même s’ils sont d’un degré inférieur, 2°) Le huitième seulement leur est attribué en présence de descendants du mari ou de descendants du fils, même s’ils sont d’un degré inférieur” (28). Translation: Art.114: Two cases arise when there are one or more spouses: 1°) the quarter is assigned to one or more spouses in case of inexistence of descendants of the husband or descendants of the son, even if they are of...more
Feb. 7, 2020, 10:38 a.m.
Countries: Ethiopia
Variables: LO-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"Laws related to marriage, ownership and inheritance rights remain ineffective because they often conflict with predominant social practices. For example, although the Constitution prohibits bigamy, polygamous marriages are very common in the southern region. Only the first wife is given the right to place her name beside her husband's on land registration and certification forms, while the right to land ownership for polygamous wives remains marginalized" (para 19)
Feb. 7, 2020, 10:30 a.m.
Countries: Ethiopia
Variables: POLY-LAW-2

“Polygamous marriages make the issue of land rights complex, especially in the division of use rights among several women. In practice, the oldest wife has access to land because only one wife is allowed to register. Such use rights are vulnerable and are subject to contestation upon dissolution of marriage. In the SNNPR and Oromiya regions, polygamous wives' resistance has resulted in a change in the registration and certification system so that the husband's name can be included on the certificate with his first wife and with his later wives" (para 10-11)
Feb. 7, 2020, 10:30 a.m.
Countries: Ethiopia
Variables: POLY-LAW-2

“Polygamous marriages make the issue of land rights complex, especially in the division of use rights among several women. In practice, the oldest wife has access to land because only one wife is allowed to register. Such use rights are vulnerable and are subject to contestation upon dissolution of marriage. In the SNNPR and Oromiya regions, polygamous wives' resistance has resulted in a change in the registration and certification system so that the husband's name can be included on the certificate with his first wife and with his later wives" (para 10-11)
Feb. 1, 2020, 10:29 a.m.
Countries: Gambia
Variables: PW-PRACTICE-3, POLY-LAW-2, POLY-LAW-3

"Marriages often were arranged and, depending on the ethnic group, polygyny was practiced. Women in polygynous unions had property and other rights arising from the marriage. They also had the option to divorce, but no legal right to disapprove or be notified in advance of subsequent marriages" (para 105)
Jan. 31, 2020, 10:41 a.m.
Countries: India
Variables: POLY-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"Polygamy (one person being married to more than one other person) is illegal for all groups in India, except for Muslim men (and some tribals, depending on their customs), who are legally permitted to have multiple wives. Hindu and Christian bigamous wives do not have the same rights that a legal wife would have to her husband’s property. Muslim women, regardless of which chronological wife they are, have the right to maintenance and their husband’s property upon his death. All Muslim wives, regardless of the number, share 1/4 (if there are no children) or 1/8 (if there are children) of their husband’s estate equally among themselves" (37-38). "Despite that polygamy...more
Jan. 28, 2020, 10:59 p.m.
Countries: Lesotho
Variables: IAW-PRACTICE-1, IAW-LAW-1, IAW-LAW-2, IAD-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"According to the law on inheritance, sons and daughters have equal inheritance rights to property, as do female and male surviving spouses. In addition, the Lesotho Land Act of 1997 allows widows to stay in the matrimonial home provided they do not remarry, thereby giving the widow usufruct rights and not ownership rights. Under customary law, however, it is reported that daughters do not have the same inheritance rights as their brothers. First-born sons are typically considered to be the heirs to land and other property. In cases where there is no male heir, the (senior) wife is expected to consult the family of her deceased husband" (2)more
Jan. 28, 2020, 10:05 p.m.
Countries: Malawi
Variables: WR-LAW-1, IAW-LAW-1, IAD-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"17. – (1) Upon intestacy the persons entitled to inherit the intestate property shall be the members of the immediate family and dependants of the intestate and their shares shall be ascertained upon the following principles of fair distribution -(a)protection shall be provided for members of the immediate family and dependants from hardship so far as the property available for distribution can provide such protection;(b) every spouse of the intestate shall be entitled to retain all the household belongings which belong to his or her household; (c) if any property shall remain after paragraphs (a) and (b) have been complied with, the remaining property shall be divided between the surviving...more
Aug. 3, 2019, 7:38 p.m.
Countries: Mozambique
Variables: POLY-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

One aspect of polygamous marriages that influences succession and inheritance practices is the hierarchy that exists among wives. The first wife, also called the great wife, is regarded as the woman with most power and privileges in the family. According to the data gathered during the fieldwork, in the central provinces of Manica and Zambézia this means that the first son of the first wife would be considered the principal heir of his father’s possessions the children of other wives dependent on his willingness to share. In Gaza province in the south, however, the power of the first wife and her offspring seems to be more symbolical. It was reported...more
July 1, 2019, 6:30 p.m.
Countries: Algeria
Variables: POLY-LAW-2

"The law affirms the religiously based practice of allowing a man to marry as many as four wives. The law permits polygamy only upon the agreement of the first wife and the determination of a judge as to the husband’s financial ability to support an additional wife" (p. 279.
April 22, 2019, 7:33 a.m.
Countries: United Arab Emirates
Variables: POLY-LAW-2

"The law permits a man to have as many as four wives" (p. 25).
Feb. 18, 2019, 7:08 p.m.
Countries: Rwanda
Variables: PW-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"The Inheritance and marital property law only applies to registered legal marriages, excluding customary and polygamous marriages. Most marriages in Rwanda are not registered and, as such, women, particularly co-wives in polygamous marriages, do not enjoy inheritance rights in practice" (1-2)
Feb. 18, 2019, 7:04 p.m.
Countries: Rwanda
Variables: PW-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"Common law and polygamous marriages are not recognized; thus, common law wives and junior wives in polygamous marriages do not receive the marital rights granted in the Constitution or the Succession Law" (120)
Feb. 18, 2019, 6:50 p.m.
Countries: Rwanda
Variables: PW-LAW-1, PW-DATA-1, POLY-LAW-2

"Polygynous marriages are rare in Rwanda, but are still practiced to some extent, especially in the northern, rural parts of the country. As civil law does not recognise polygynous marriages either, women in such unions are also unprotected by the law" (91)
Feb. 11, 2019, 7:29 p.m.
Countries: Senegal
Variables: POLY-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"Title II of the Family Code deals with intestate inheritance rights. The lineage is divided into 'legitimate' heirs, 'natural' heirs and 'joined' heirs. Articles 520-528 specify the possible legitimate descendants and their ranking: the one with the highest degree of consanguinity is always first in line; thus, first the children and their descendants, if any; thereafter the deceased’s ascendants; then collateral parents and, finally, the surviving spouse. In order to inherit her/his full share, a child born out of wedlock must be recognised and accepted by the natural father’s wife, and by all his wives in a polygamous marriage. The inheritance of an unrecognised child is only half that of...more
Feb. 11, 2019, 7:19 p.m.
Countries: Senegal
Variables: POLY-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"Under Islamic law, women in polygamous unions inherit less than those in monogamous marriages, since the eighth share of the man’s property which is allocated to a widow is divided among the wives and the shares allocated to children are divided among all the children of the deceased, with sons receiving twice the share that daughters received" (84). "In practice, most widows interviewed inherited a share of their deceased husband’s property (in the case of polygamous marriages), or owned property in their own right in urban areas. In Muslim families, the process of sharing the deceased’s assets according to Islamic law was usually led by male relatives, sometimes in consultation...more
Feb. 11, 2019, 6:58 p.m.
Countries: Senegal
Variables: POLY-LAW-2

"Parties to a polygamous marriage may choose between the 'dote' regime and a 'separation of property' system: Under the 'dote' regime the husband is the sole owner and administrator of the marriage property, and the only property at a wife’s personal disposal for the duration of the marriage is her dowry. Under the 'separation of property' system, each spouse maintains ownership of the property he or she brought into the marriage or acquires during the subsistence of the marriage. However, the husband may designate personal property acquired by him during the marriage (and thus considered his) as belonging to a particular spouse; the designated property then becomes that spouse’s property...more
Feb. 11, 2019, 6:49 p.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: ATDW-LAW-1, IAW-PRACTICE-1, POLY-LAW-2

"Women face the risk of losing control over the land when their husband dies or if they divorce. Male children from the marriage inherit the land but if there are no children and if a woman remarries into her late husband’s family, she can continue to cultivate the land. A woman who returns to her patrilineal family regains her rights to land for cultivation from the male head of her family" (para 2)
Feb. 11, 2019, 6:42 p.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: IAW-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"Under customary law, a woman cannot inherit her deceased husband’s property" (para 13).
Feb. 11, 2019, 6:31 p.m.
Countries: Sierra Leone
Variables: POLY-LAW-2

"The Devolution of Estates Act (2007) provides that men and women have the same inheritance rights in the event of the death of a spouse or a parent, regardless of religious or ethnic identity. With regard to marriages with more than one spouse, the Act provides for distribution of the estate among the surviving spouses in proportion to the duration of their respective marriages, accounting for other factors such as any contributions they have made to the estate" (3)
Feb. 11, 2019, 6:13 p.m.
Countries: Singapore
Variables: POLY-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"Section 8: If any person so dying intestate leaves surviving him more than one wife, such wives shall share among them equally the share that the wife of the intestate would have been entitled to, had the intestate left only one wife surviving him" (para 19)
Jan. 28, 2019, 9:36 p.m.
Countries: South Africa
Variables: POLY-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"Polygamous marriages are especially problematical. Customary law allows for polygamous marriages, with no limit on the amount of wives a man may take. In South Africa, polygamous families are divided into separate units or ‘houses,’ with each marriage establishing a new, independent house. Under simple polygamy, the male heir is defined as the first-married wife’s oldest son, or if he is no longer alive, his oldest son. If there are no male descendants of the oldest son, the first wife’s second son is heir, and so on. Without a male heir in the first house, the line of succession moves to the males in the second house; that is, the...more
Jan. 26, 2019, 3:16 p.m.
Countries: Swaziland
Variables: POLY-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

""A month after the husband’s death, the lusendvo or family council, which consists of the wife’s in-laws, meets to decide upon the heir. The heir (always a male) is chosen according to his mother’s seniority-ranking and status. In polygamous marriages, the eldest son of the highest ranking woman ‘wins’ the status of heir to his father’s estate and is known as inkhosana, or head heir. Widows’ (and thus heirs’) seniority in a polygamous marriage is determined according to the following scheme of preference: 1. A widow of royal blood; 2. A widow who has the same clan name as that of the deceased’s mother. (Such a wife is considered a...more
Jan. 25, 2019, 9:57 p.m.
Countries: Israel
Variables: PW-PRACTICE-3, POLY-LAW-2

"Polygamy and bigamy persist and are legitimized under religious laws governing personal status, including the possibility of retroactive annulation of a divorce even when the former spouses have remarried, which has negative consequences for women" (pg. 17).
Jan. 22, 2019, 9:02 p.m.
Countries: Tanzania
Variables: IAW-PRACTICE-1, IAD-PRACTICE-1, POLY-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"The statutory deference granted to both customary law and Islamic law in mainland Tanzania is particularly discriminatory toward polygamous co-wives. Under Islamic law, a Muslim man is allowed to marry up to four wives. Contrary to customary law, Islamic law does allow widows and daughters to inherit, although the amounts allotted to each are half that allotted to their male counterparts. Islamic law explicitly provides that widows and daughters only get one-half of the property interest of men in the same familial position. Specifically, widows with children are entitled to one eighth of their spouse’s estate, whereas a widower with children is entitled to one-fourth. A widow without children is...more
Jan. 19, 2019, 3:41 p.m.
Countries: Uganda
Variables: POLY-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"Second, since statutory law does not recognize polygamy, if statutory law trumps customary law, as is mandated by Ugandan law, only a man's first wife is recognized and has any inheritance rights. Sometimes a husband will try to provide for his other wives by using a secret trust, but there is little to guarantee that his intent will be carried out" (17)
Jan. 17, 2019, 10:35 p.m.
Countries: Zambia
Variables: POLY-LAW-1, POLY-LAW-2

"Notwithstanding section five where the intestate is survived by more than one widow or a child from any of them, then, each widow or her child or both of them shall be entitled- (a) absolutely to the homestead property of the intestate; and (b) in equal shares to the common property of the intestate" (8)