09/28/2013, 00.00
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Malaysia rewards "model polygamy" that avoid family feuds

To counter the increasing number of lawsuits filed by wives married to the same man , the government is launching a program that sponsors with money and public appearances men who keep peace in their house. Human rights activists : " They should think of eliminating gender discrimination ."

Kota Bharu (AsiaNews) - At the end of the year, the Malaysian authorities of the State of Kelantan elect the best example of a polygamous family in the country. The initiative, which includes more than 200 competitors , was initiated in 2012 to reduce court cases arising from complaints of multiple wives married to the same man .

Malaysian Islamic law recognizes polygamy as legal practice up to a maximum of 4 women , but only with the consent of previous wives and the permission of the court. While in Southeast Asia polygamists represent 2 % of the male population , the northern regions of Malaysia registered a Muslim presence equal to 90 % of the population , and in the state of Kelantan alone there are at least 1,000 men who marry more than once a ' year.

In 2012, the growing number of lawsuits arising from the complaint of disrespectful behavior on the part of a husband, has led the authorities in Kota Bharu - Kelantan 's capital - to devise a measure to increase respect for women but not which does not impact dramatically on Islamic law . According to the 39 year-old lawyer Adibah Jodi , a member of the Sisters of Islam , engaged in the protection of women's rights, "the program is irrelevant and the most urgent task for the government should be to achieve true equality of the sexes ."

In addition to some public appearances, the "model polygamous husband" will be awarded with a sum of 31 thousand ringgit (about 310 dollars). The main evaluation criteria - based on the evidence gathered by family members - will be commitment in the workplace, behavior in the family context and the amount of gifts that a man makes to his wives.


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