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General News of Saturday, 28 June 2003

Source: gna

Review customary marriage and divorce registration law

Kumasi (Ashanti Region) - An appeal has been made for the review of the customary marriage and divorce law in the country to make it more relevant and easily accessible.

It has, therefore, been proposed that all marriage officers should be sworn-in as Commissioners of Oaths, to enable them to sign marriage documents at the registration points.

The advocacy formed part of recommendations of the Family Law Focal Area (FLFA) of the GTZ Legal Pluralism and Gender Pilot Project, and presented by Mrs Sheila Minka-Premo, Co-ordinator of the project, at a workshop held in Kumasi on Thursday.

The workshop, organised by the FLFA of the GTZ Legal Pluralism and Gender Pilot Project, was aimed at creating a platform for disseminating findings of the pilot project after its implementation.

Sixty participants, made up of traditional rulers, governmental and non-governmental organisations (NGOs), civil organisations and religious bodies from Ashanti.

The project, which started in Ashanti and the Volta regions in September 2001 and expected to end in June 2003, was designed to research into Ghana's plural legal system and address gender inequities, by supporting women's rights.

Mrs Minka-Premo said it was the view of the pilot project that a situation whereby only marriage officers of Metropolitan Assemblies "are sworn as Registrars of deeds, while those at the District Assemblies are not, does not entice people enough to register their marriages".

"It is the conviction of the project that the registration process should be decentralised to the community level, preferably the Electoral Area Levels", she added

In an address read for him, Maxwell Kofi Jumah, the Kumasi Metropolitan Assembly Chief Executive (MCE), said he was hopeful that the findings of the project would go a long way to improve the lives of people within the metropolis. Jumah appealed to the GTZ to consider extending the duration of the project rather than folding up by June ending.