Debate on divorce law timely
Members of Parliament have been collecting citizens’ views to initiate amendments to the 1988 law governing persons and family in Rwanda.
For the new bill, the debate is rife about parts concerning divorce. The topic remains controversial in the Rwandan society where marriage continues to be considered as a permanent status instead of something that can be changed when parties involved are no longer interested.
On the other hand, the country is increasingly changing in all her socio-economic and political life, which has brought about changes in peoples’ way of life, including the way they used to consider marriage. For example, Rwandans from all walks of life seem to be currently interested in how to manage their family lives and still meet new demands to be more productive at work, to multitask, to create and manage businesses regardless of their gender, and to really contribute to building a middle-income Rwanda that they project by the year 2020.
As this newspaper reports, there are mixed views on how to handle divorce, with some people favouring policies that keep people together and others opting for making it easier for people to part ways and move on with their individual lives if they no longer want to live together.
While the Chamber of Deputies’ standing committee on political affairs and gender has concluded countrywide consultations on the entire bill for what will replace the current law governing persons and family in Rwanda, other MPs should consider it an urgent task to ensure that ideas on what Rwandans think about divorce are widely documented before the new law is passed.