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Organisations push for Parly to recognise Muslim marriages

An application has been launched to compel the State to pass legislation that will protect Muslim wives.

FILE: The matter was heard in the High Court today. Picture: Free Images.

CAPE TOWN - The Women's Legal Centre and several other organisations are asking the Western Cape High Court to order Parliament to pass legislation that will recognise Muslim marriages and divorces.

The matter has been heard in the High Court today.

The centre launched an application a year ago to compel the State to pass legislation to protect women in Muslim marriages.

Six organisations have been admitted as friends of the court in the case.

The legal centre's Hooda Abrahams-Fayker says the passing of the Bill is long overdue.

"There is a steady stream of Muslim woman coming to our offices facing challenges when their marriage ends or when they want to end their marriage because they can't assert their rights to the consequences arising from that marriage."

Abrahams-Fayker says the lack of recognition of Muslim marriages affects women and children in particular.

"When their marriage dissolves, everything is registered in the husband's name and then she can't assert the right to property she would have contributed to."

The hearing will take place in May 2016.