Friday, August 28, 2009

Mali Does a Good Thing

So Mali is planning to change its laws regarding marriage and a few other aspects of family life, and there are some parts of the Mali population who are not happy with the changes.

First, the change. The current law states that a wife must obey her husband. The new law states that once married husbands and wives owe each other loyalty, protection, help and assistance. Most people I know would chalk this up as a win for women's rights and the cause of equality.

Now alas, a some of the Muslim majority in Mali do not like this. They much prefer things the way they are, because that's the way things are. Not surprisingly, most of those opposed to the changes are men, but not all.

I do see a few good things in the situation. Mali's justice minister definitely gets things. He knows his country has a secular government, and acknowledges that to enshrine religious rules in law is a bad thing.

The other good point is the fact that the High Islamic Council has decided to use the soap box and the ballot box, rather than going straight for the ammo box. They are speaking out against the proposal, and encouraging Muslims to vote against parliamentarians who vote for the measure. They seem to be having some effect, because the President has sent the law back to the parliament for reconsideration. I hope they do the right thing and send it back to him.

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