Why I blog...

I use this blog as a kind of therapy. Sometimes I'm happy and want to share it, sometimes it's just a random thought and sometimes it's to deal with things in my past. After all a burden shared is a burden halved

Monday, August 8, 2011

Women's Day

August 9th is women’s day; the whole country celebrates this day as the day women marched up to parliament to demand equal rights. I am very patriotic and love my country very much. I abhor things like racism and intolerance. That’s why it pains me to see things when they appear to be unconstitutional.

Our constitution states that women enjoy the same rights as men

Polygamy (in my opinion) infringes on this right, as women are not allowed to have more than one husband unlike their male counterpart, according to the SA legal system coupled with customary law.

Why then I ask myself is the president of our country allowed to be a polygamist?

In researching polygamy and the law, I have discovered that the law itself on this issue is vague. In order to obtain a marriage license to marry you have to produce a death certificate or certificate of divorce from your previous spouse before obtaining one. The president of our country is a polygamist, and uses his right to practice his beliefs under his cultural heritage as a way of allowing this.

This infuriates me. This is not your average Joe Soap from down the road, this is a man who is supposed to represent us as a country and what we as South Africans stand for. This is a man who is going to pay tribute to women around the world tomorrow in celebration of women’s day and yet he himself lives a lifestyle at odds with the constitution he has sworn to uphold.

On women’s day it is important to reflect on gender equality and women’s rights. Do you personally think that there is a conflict between the law, customary law, the constitution and the actions of our president?


  1. polygamy is not limited to men having multiple partners. women can have multiple partners too. i actually know a few people in polyamorous relationships.

    women's rights means that women have the freedom to decide what relationship they want. not every woman wants to get married to one man.
    someone else's relationship (even the president's) should have no effect on anyone else's life.

    this is the same argument that the religious use against gay marriage. just because it's someone's culture and personal belief to not "believe" in gay marriage, doesn't make it wrong.

    the real reason behind this day is to celebrate the power of women to change society as a whole. they didn't just fight for women's rights. they marched to protect everyone's right to freedom.

  2. Thank you for your comment Anita, however I feel you have misunderstood my issue. I don’t have any objection to gay or even polygamist marriages as a whole. To say that would seem discriminatory in fact I abhor discrimination of any kind, I respect other people’s rights to practice their own form of religion or beliefs. My issue lies within the equality of women. The marriage act in South Africa does not allow for polygamy unless it is under cultural customary law. And here is where my issue lies, the particular cultural customary law that Mr. Zuma is married under is a patriarchal one and does not permit women to have more than one husband but only men to have more than one wife. That to me is not equality.

  3. You reflect my thoughts about the issue.