'Bill women-centric', activists plan protest for equal marital laws

A group of child rights and social activists seeking equal rights for men and women as well as gender neutral marital laws will hold a day-long protest in the Capital on Saturday, an activist said.

“The protest will be held at Jantar Mantar against the amendments in the marriage Bill, which recognise a wife’s right to property acquired by her spouse during their marriage,” said Kumar V Jahgirdar, president of Bangalore-based non-government organisation. 

The union Cabinet has approved the Marriage Law Amendment Bill 2010, which will be tabled in the ongoing monsoon session of parliament. 

“The Bill does not deal with issues like custody of children and visiting rights. It is based on the flawed presumption that the child is best taken care by the mother only,” added Jahgirdar.

“Children are going to be the losers if this Bill is passed as absence of father will hamper their welfare,” Jahgirdar said.

A number of men’s rights groups are opposing ‘women-centric’ amendments in the marriage law, like in case of divorce men would have to part with their property.

Jahgirdar added that they are demanding shared parenting and joint custody of children as a rule in divorce or separation case.

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