Outlawing Polygamy to Combat Gender Inequalities, Domestic Violence in Papua New Guinea

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SYDNEY - New legislation recently passed in the southwest Pacific Island state of Papua New Guinea (PNG) outlawing polygamy has been welcomed by experts in the country as an initial step forward in the battle against high rates of domestic violence, gender inequality and the spread of AIDS.
The Civil Registration Amendment Bill makes it compulsory to register all marriages, including customary ones. Marriages involving more than one spouse, however, will not be recognised.

The government believes this move will also help to increase the registration of births in a country where an estimated 90 percent of the population do not have birth certificates. According to The Women and Children’s Access to Community Justice Programme, banning polygamy under this new law will help to empower women. (END//2014)

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