Mozambique: Legal breakthrough for women

UN Women's Newsletter
Information about a victory achieved in December 2003, by the feminist and women's movements of Mozambique - the adoption of a new Family Law that modifies the Civil Code.
The gains of this this historical benchmark for Mozambican women were many.
The legal role of the man as head of family was eliminated. Now, each partner of a married couple can represent the "sacred" family.

The legal age for marriage is now 18 years for both sexes. Previously, the age was 16 for women and 18 for men.

The article stating that the husband was to determine the place of residence was eliminated.

Traditional and religious marriages were recognized, provided that these marriages were registered and that they preserved the principles established for civil marriage.

Polygamist unions that are practised in the country (but with an increasing number of multiple and diverse interpretations) were not included in the law.

In relation to "de facto" marriages, it is established that one year of cohabitation enables the property-sharing by the members of the couple according to the norms established in the Civil Code.

The right of the wife was established to develop commercial undertakings on her own.

Ximena Andrade: