Coalition urges Parliament to pass property rights of spouses bill

ParliamentThe Coalition on the Property Rights of Spouses Bill on Tuesday urged parliament to pass the property rights of spouses’ bill, 2013 into law.

The coalition made this known at a workshop organized in Accra by the African Women Lawyers Association (AWLA) and LAWA-Ghana Aumnae Incorporated (LAWA-Ghana), with support from STAR-Ghana.

In a speech read on her behalf, the Attorney – General and Minister of Justice, Mrs Marieta Brew Appiah-Oppong said the Ministry of Justice laid the bill in question in parliament in October 2009, after receiving proposals and support to draft it as far back in the year 2000.

She said despite various advocacies undertaken by civil society organizations, the bill was not passed and lapsed in December 2012 when the tenure of the Fifth Parliament of the Fourth Republic expired, adding that, “this had necessitated its re-introduction in the Sixth Parliament.”

She noted that the bill in essence, ensured the equitable distribution of matrimonial property between spouses, saying if passed, it will in particular, end the challenges female spouses faced in having equal access to property jointly acquired during marriage.

Mrs Edna Kuma, Executive Director, AWLA said Ghana had an obligation under the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), which she said, included ensuring that couples had the same rights in entering into marriage, within marriage and upon dissolution of marriage.

The property rights of Spouses Bill per article 22 of the 1992 Constitution requires spouses, including persons who hold themselves out to the public as couples (cohabiters) to have equal access to property jointly acquired in the course of marriage or relationship, to be equitably distributed between them upon its termination.

Source: GNA

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