International Journal of Innovative Research and Knowledge


Volume-4 Issue-3, March 2019




Title: LACK OF LEGAL FRAMEWORK ON COHABITATION UNIONS IN KENYA AND THE IMPACT ON THE SOCIO-ECONOMIC RIGHTS OF WOMEN

Author: DR. NANCY BARAZA

Abstract

Unmarried heterosexual cohabitation is rapidly increasing in Kenya and a significant number of children are now born to unmarried cohabiting parents. Parties in cohabitation unions also undertake investments that lead to accumulation of property. This is not just an important change in the way people live in present day Kenya; it is also a political and theoretical marker. Some commentators see cohabitation as evidence of selfish individualism and the breakdown of the age-respected traditional family central to which is marriage, while others see it as just a less institutionalised way in which people express commitment and build their families. Politically, 'stable' families are seen as crucial and families borne out of cohabitation unions are frowned upon. At present the law in Kenya retains important distinctions in the way it treats cohabiting and married families and this can have deleterious effects on the human rights of the vulnerable partners on cohabitation breakdown or death of a partner. Using findings from a research carried out in the Kibera slums of Nairobi in the Kenyan capital and existing literature, the author examines the extent to which cohabitation phenomenon exists. The author then explores why people in Kenya cohabit rather than marry, what the nature of their commitment is to one another and note the impact of legal marginalisation on the socio-economic rights of the vulnerable parties in cohabiting unions who in most cases are women. The main purpose of this paper is to propose possible legal protections that Kenya should adopt in order to protect parties in non-marital family unions.


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IJIRK DESCRIPTION

ISSN: 2213-1356

Publisher: Scholar Touch Publishers

Area/Scope: Business, Economics & Management; Social Science, Literature, Arts & Humanities; Engineering & Technology; Life Science & Physical Science, Health & Medical Science

Frequency: Monthly

Format: Online & Print

Language: English

Review Process: Double Blinded

Access: Open Access