The two new bills before Parliament include the Property Rites of Spouses Bill and Intestate Succession Bill. a key provision of the Property Rites of Spouses Bill, which deals with cohabitation, states that a man and woman who live together for five continuous years are regarded as married in the eyes of the law, and are enjoined by the provisions of married persons.
“Section 3 (1) states: Cohabitation refers to a situation in which a man and woman hold themselves out to the public to be man and wife. (2) Persons who have cohabited for a period of five years or more shall be deemed to be spouses and have the rights of spouses for the purposes of this Act.”
But Akuma is not happy about the bill. “When people are asked why persons who have cohabited for a period of five years or more should be deemed to be spouses, they refer to the sufferings some of our mothers have been through because of some of our fathers' refusal to perform their marriage rites. But is the bill meant to compensate the mistakes of the past or to guide us and our children for a fruitful future? If it is for the past, then it is vindictive and will become an albatross that will create more monsters than good marital relationships in Ghana,” she told NEWS-ONE.
“How can a woman be regarded as your wife with full marital rights under any circumstance when you have not asked for her hand in marriage? This is unacceptable in Ghana. What happened to our family system and their relevance in our marital unions in Ghana?”
Akumaa Mama Zimbi
She suggested, “More emphasis should rather be made on the importance and the need to really get married. In fact, one could break off cohabitation after 4 years to avoid the full extent of the law. What if the young men decide to live with our beautiful young ladies for only 4years, with its related abortion issues and other sacrifices?”
“No marriage no sex habit should rather be our tag not cohabitation.
For there is a way that seems right unto man but the end leads to destruction. Let's guard our own foundations, our own African identity and personality, and keep our cultural and moral values for posterity. That is what makes us unique. That is our pride…medaase…” she concluded.
Akumaa, born Joyce Dongotey-Padi, is the CEO of a widow's organization called Widows Alliance Network (WANE) which has over the years focused on sustaining the economic development of widows and educating them as well. She has done a lot of social responsibility projects which have won her international awards.
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