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

Latest items for PW-LAW-1

Aug. 15, 2023, 6:17 a.m.
Countries: Cote D'Ivoire
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"The Committee appreciates the efforts made by the State party to amend discriminatory provisions of the Criminal Code and of the Marriage Act (CEDAW/C/CIV/4, para. 30). The Committee nevertheless notes with concern that: (d) The absence of an explicit prohibition of polygamous, levirate and sororate marriages in the legislation of the State party and the insufficient protection of women’s rights in such marriages" (14). "The Committee recalls its previous concluding observations (CEDAW/C/CIV/CO/1-3, para. 43 (a)–(c)), as well as its general recommendation No. 21 (1994) on equality in marriage and family relations, and recommends that the State party: (d) Include in the revised Criminal Code provisions explicitly prohibiting polygamous, levirate and...more
July 10, 2023, 9:26 p.m.
Countries: Maldives
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"Polygamy, up to four wives, is legal and is practiced to a limited extent." (35).
June 27, 2023, 11:15 p.m.
Countries: Algeria
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"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 previous and future wife, and the determination of a judge as to the husband’s financial ability to support an additional wife" (29).
May 12, 2023, 3:07 p.m.
Countries: Zambia
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"In case of a polygamous marriage, the statutory share is divided among widows proportionally to the duration of their respective marriages to the deceased; other factors such as: the widow's contribution to the deceased's property may be additionally considered (Intestate Succession Act, Sec. 5). The surviving spouses hold the house as tenants in common (Intestate Succession Act, Sec. 9)" (6).
April 1, 2023, 9:26 p.m.
Countries: Uzbekistan
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"In 2016, the following cases were heard under the Criminal Code:...26 cases (28 persons) under article 126 (polygamy)...In 2017:...33 cases (34 persons) under article 126...In 2019 (nine months) case (one person) under article 126..."(33-34)(NF - CODER COMMENT - Since it is under the criminal code, polygamy is considered illegal in Uzbekistan with no exceptions).
March 31, 2023, 2:31 p.m.
Countries: Egypt
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"[T]he amendment to the Personal Status Law, guarantees: the equal rights of women and men in all matters relating to marriage and family relations by prohibiting polygamy" (14). This amendment is recommended but not adopted by the state (MV- coder comment).
Feb. 15, 2023, 1:32 p.m.
Countries: Malaysia
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"Section 23(10)(b) of the Islamic Family Law (State of Selangor) Enactment 2003, provisioned that the wife can apply for an order from the court to conduct the distribution of matrimonial property before a polygamy application can be approved" (para 6). This eliminates a second wife's ability to inherit any of the first wife's share of the matrimonial property from before the second wife's marrried in (SFR - CODER COMMENT).
Feb. 6, 2023, 12:07 p.m.
Countries: Kyrgyzstan
Variables: PW-PRACTICE-2, PW-LAW-1

"The Committee [on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women]…recommends that the State Party…[e]ffectively enforce the prohibition of polygamy under article 179 of the Criminal Code, require civil registration for marriages to have any effect, and raise public awareness of the economic risks for women in polygamous and unregistered unions, including in case of dissolution" (16).
Feb. 4, 2023, 8:40 a.m.
Countries: Iraq
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"[P]olygamy is permitted in certain circumstances under the Personal Status Act and Act No. 15 (2008) in the Kurdistan Region" (12).
Feb. 3, 2023, 1:37 p.m.
Countries: Lesotho
Variables: PW-PRACTICE-3, PW-LAW-1

"When Nkhono (Grandmother) Mathibo’s husband passed away she was forced off her land by her step-son who was born of a her husband’s first wife. The elderly woman left her home for fear of her life; her step-son had threatened to kill her. Lesotho’s inheritance laws give the first born male child all the inheritance rights. In a polygamous marriage, the heir is the firstborn male child of the first married wife" (para 2-3).
Jan. 6, 2023, 3:42 p.m.
Countries: Ethiopia
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"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).
Dec. 26, 2022, 5:35 p.m.
Countries: Qatar
Variables: PW-PRACTICE-3, PW-LAW-1

"Men can marry up to four wives but can divorce any wife without even informing them about it" (para 3).
Dec. 9, 2022, 4 p.m.
Countries: Cote D'Ivoire
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"[MP Yacouba] Sangaré argu[es] for polygamy to become a legal option since the 1964 law that only recognizes monogamy has proven ineffective, he says" (para 8). "A June 2019 law stipulates that 'no one may enter into a new marriage before the first one is dissolved' " (para 11).
Aug. 1, 2022, 12:51 p.m.
Countries: Tanzania
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"If the husband has many wives, he may bequests to allow all his wives (not giving to some and denying others), so that they can inherit agricultural production or his property by observing the rules of intestate, until they remarry or die. A husband may make a Will and give his childless widow inheritance of agricultural production or part of the share of property jointly acquired with him (as stipulated in paragraph 77 of the Law of Persons) which otherwise could have returned to the patrilineal side" (8).
Aug. 1, 2022, 12:14 p.m.
Countries: Tanzania
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"Marriages shall be of two kinds, that is to say— (a) those that are monogamous or are intended to be monogamous; and (b) those that are polygamous or are potentially polygamous" (12). No difference in property rights is mentioned for polygamous unions versus monogamous unions (SFR - CODER COMMENT).
July 1, 2022, 11:43 a.m.
Countries: East Timor
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"Regarding the polygamy issue, legal initiatives have been instigated such as the registration by the Civil Registry of all marriages in its various forms provided under the draft Civil Registration Code which intends to ensure the effective celebration of marriages according to civil law" (13).
June 29, 2022, 11:33 a.m.
Countries: Indonesia
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"[The Committee] is particularly concerned about:... The delay in withdrawing or amending discriminatory provisions in Law No. 16/2019 on marriage and in the Civil Code and other discriminatory provisions, including provisions that: (i) authorize polygamy" (15). "[The Committee] recommends that the State party:... Amend, without further delay, the discriminatory provisions in Law No. 16/2019 on marriage and in the Civil Code, and any other discriminatory provisions, with a view to (i) prohibiting polygamy" (16).
June 14, 2022, 5:24 p.m.
Countries: Denmark
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"The political agreement on religious preachers furthermore entailed criminalisation of express of endorsement of certain offenses related to religious education. Among other things, it is thus an offence to sanction violent acts, force or the threat of force and bigamy if doing so occurs in the course of providing religious education activities" (29).
April 29, 2022, 5:43 p.m.
Countries: Russia
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"[T[he Committee recommends that the State party:... [e]nforce the prohibition of polygamy" (15). This indicates that ploygyny is illegal (SFR - CODER COMMENT).
March 25, 2022, 8:54 p.m.
Countries: United Arab Emirates
Variables: IAW-PRACTICE-1, PW-LAW-1

"The government’s interpretation of sharia applies in personal status cases and family law. Muslim women must have the consent of their guardians to marry. Local interpretation of sharia forbids Muslim women to marry non-Muslims. In addition, the law permits a man to have as many as four wives, women normally inherit less than men, and a son’s inheritance may be double that of a daughter" (28).
Jan. 6, 2022, 12:09 p.m.
Countries: Somalia
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"According to Islamic Sharia you are allowed up to four wives, but you are not allowed to enter a temporary marriage" (1).
Nov. 30, 2021, 2:34 p.m.
Countries: Palestine
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"Men may marry more than one wife" (96).
Nov. 17, 2021, 8:27 p.m.
Countries: Singapore
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"Polygyny is permitted for Muslim men but is limited and strictly regulated by the Registry of Muslim Marriages, which oversees Muslim marriages and other family law matters" (23).
Sept. 29, 2021, 9:33 a.m.
Countries: Mali

"While the law provides for equal property rights, traditional practices and ignorance of the law prevented women from taking full advantage of their rights. The marriage contract must specify if the couple wishes to share estate rights. If marriage certificates of Muslim couples do not specify the type of marriage, judges presume the marriage to be polygynous" (23).
Aug. 3, 2021, 11:58 a.m.
Countries: Egypt
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"About 50 women’s organisations in Egypt have published a statement laying out basic principles regarding women’s legal rights amid growing controversy over a proposed bill to amend the country’s personal status law[...]Regarding marriage, the statement said the law should ensure that divorce is legalised only through a judge and that polygamy be allowed only through a judge’s authorisation following permission from a man’s first wife.The main articles that have been welcomed by rights groups include amendments that reportedly call for imposing a hefty fine and up to a year in prison on a man if he marries more than one wife at a time, and does so without notifying his...more
July 9, 2021, 1:38 p.m.
Countries: Kenya
Variables: PW-PRACTICE-3, PW-LAW-1

"The law codifies the right of men to enter into consensual marriage with additional women without securing the consent of any existing wife" (p 35).
July 9, 2021, 11:47 a.m.
Countries: Qatar
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"Islamic polygamy is permitted"(para 42).
July 1, 2021, 2:21 p.m.
Countries: South Africa
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"Polygamy itself is nothing new to South Africa – but the system is entirely skewed in favour of patriarchal figures. Men are allowed, even encouraged in some cultures, to take several wives. But doing things the other way round remains illegal. That could change very, very soon though. Home Affairs have introduced a new Green Paper for the Marriage Act, which would elevate polyandry to the same legal status as its historical equivalent. The bill is expected to pass in the National Assembly, but Al-Jama’ah – who hold one seat in Parliament – won’t let that happen without a fight" (para 2-3).
June 17, 2021, 10:05 p.m.
Countries: Nepal
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"According to the law of Nepal, after marriage, if a wife is abandoned, cruelly treated, or husband brought or kept another female, the first wife is entitled to share couple’s half property. For men, if his wife is suffering from incurable venereal disease such as insane, paralyzed, goes blind, fail to give birth within 10 years of marriage or agreed to live separately by taking shared property, in such a case, women are not allowed to divorce but Men are allowed to marry a second time" (para 3).
June 17, 2021, 9:57 p.m.
Countries: Turkmenistan
Variables: PW-LAW-1

"Polygamy is already formally banned and punishable by up to two years of corrective labour in ex-Soviet Turkmenistan... A new amendment to the family code passed by parliament and published in the state newspaper Neutral Turkmenistan on Tuesday seemed aimed at clearing up any ambiguity. It stated that polygamy 'refers to cohabitation with two or more women at the same time' and stressed that this was 'not permitted' in the republic" (para 2, 4-5).