Femme au Fone newsletters third edition/2017

South – Kivu: The registration of marriage at the registry office; women rights security in their households.

FEMME AU FONE PROJECT

Editorial team, see Maendeleo Radio, N°05/Bukavu

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Femme au Fone newsletters third edition/2017

South – Kivu: The registration of marriage at the registry office; women rights security in their households.

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Editorial team.

Hello to you all.

Messages concerning women's security from south – kivu territories are still coming to Femme au fone organization (system) most of those messages describe domestic violences that women undergo in their homes because of the lack of marriages that are registered at the registry office.

The main problem that women explain in their messages concerns economic insecurity and the non involvement in the financial resources of their households for their autonomy.

The league Femme au fone is in his media campaign since September under the theme ''The civil marriage, legal proof for women's rights in their homes'' advocacy actions are also developed by femme au fone so that civil marriages may be celebrated with regard to the new Congolese family code.

In these newsletters, you will read the following articles:

- Katana: civil state's officers are determined to use the new family code during marriages at the registry office.

- Kamanyola: customs, some groups and poverty hinder the registration of marriages at the registry office.

- South – Kivu: Femme au fone sensitizes for a positive integration of issues during the celebration of marriages at the registry office.

- South – Kivu: Journalists from Bukavu are determined to popularise new laws about the Congolese family code.

- People celebrating civil marriages decide to use the new family code for the save of security of their wives in their homes.

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Follow us also on http://www.facebook/kivufoon

Twitter:@femmeaufone

The editorial

KATANA: Officers at the civil status decide to use the new family code during the celebration of marriages at the civil state

The registration of marriages at the registry office stands for women's security in their households; this is the theme which has been developed during a conference organization on October 17th, 2017 at Katana center by the league of media women throughout the project femme au fone.

This activity was held as media complain by the league of femme au fone made of AFEM, Maendeleo Radio, the collection of women for peace and reconciliation, SPR and the NGO Cordaid under the same theme.

More than twenty – five people among which officers of the civil state, other authorities of the nation at a law level, organization of human right in Katana have talked about some strategies to apply for the security of women in their homes.

"I will start to use the new family code and avail myself to go celebrate marriage at the civil state whenever there is need" said Pierre BUSANE head of the civil state from Katana.

Difficulties in Katana

People who attended the conference highlighted problems that they suppose to be the main sources of the no registration of marriages in Katana:

- Poverty that causes some young boys lack how to get the dowry

- Other people say that the registration of the marriage at the civil state pushes some women to be impolite

- They also showed among the major causes, the no sensitization of people about the new family code; this leads to ignorance of the protection that the law has towards the marriage, the far – away distance between the family and the office of the civil state.

- Marriages and pregnancy are also key elements.

According to Ngaboyeka Dominique head of one village in Katana, the government is able to facilitate couples to register their marriages by decreasing the cost.

"Can you imagine that one must pay $60 at the chiefdom for the registration of the marriage, it is much money" he says.

The commitment of participants

"I, here by decide to be an example of good relation of my household in my community to push others contracting marriages having the civil status" highlighted one chief office from Katana Mr BENJAMIN CIMANUKA.

Other participants decided to spread the new disposition contained in the new family code, encourage young people to register their marriages and have the civil status, declares the supervisor of Katana BENJAMIN CIMANUKA.

The other participants are committed to popularize the new disposition of the new family code, to encourage young people to register their marriages at the registry office and stop to limit themselves at the customary marriages, religious marriages, to sensitize couples about the benefits of civil marriages for women's security in their household and also discourage forced and early marriages.

At the end of the conference, posters containing information about the awareness of the importance of civil marriages were handed over to the local authorities and the postmasters for the purpose of displaying them in their offices as well as in other strategic corners of Katana for broad community awareness.

By Eliane Polepole

KAMANYOLA: Customs and poverty hinder marriage registration at the registry office.

On average, only four marriages are registered in the registry per month at Kamanyola, one of the groupings of Walungu located at about fifty kilometers south of Bukavu town "This number is insufficient compared to the high density of the population estimated at about eighty thousand in habitants" says Faustin Lugwerhe the registar of the Grouping of Kashenyi and registrar at Kamanyola. It was during the public debate held in August as part of Femme au fone project organized by Maendeleo radio.

The head of the Grouping of Kashenyi Faustin Lugwerhe specifies that most marriages celebrated are often those of couples who regularized their union and rare times for those of young couples.

Participants at that debate declare that the registration of marriages at the registry office is a question that is not interesting towards inhabitants from Kamanyola. This is highlighted by the fact that the marriage registration is twenty dollars for couples who regularize their union and forty dollars for young couples. He considers that this amount is too high compared to their standard of living for either category and calls for its reduction.

"Forty dollars is much money as fees to be payed so that the marriage maybe celebrated. This sum does not correspond to the purchase cost of the inhabitant of Kamanyola" complains one woman, inhabitant of that place.

This situation pushes many couples to limit themselves on the customary marriage celebrated in the family nevertheless, factors found during this public debate show that the legal security of women is not guaranteed at all in the home.

This one is still the first looser because men live in polygamy and the abandonment of their families.

When they regularize, they decide to take young women and leave the one supposed to be old. On this occasion, inhabitant of Kamanyola pinpointed several factors that block the registration of civil marriages in their area.

It is mainly poverty of the population, ignorance of the inherent benefit of civil marriage the uncompromising requirement of parents who impose exorbitant dowries on young boys, the retrograde customs, the blind imitation of some and foreign practices and finally some religious sects that endorse polygamy in the areas whereas the Congolese legislation recognizes only the monogamous marriage.

The headmaster of the grouping is proposed as head of the registrar office, Faustin Lugwerhe is determined to facilitate the cost of registration of marriages to young couples by applying the nomenclature in force in the Grouping of Kamanyola and Kashenyi in Ngweshe territory.

Women's associations of Kamanyola present have resolved to carry out sensitization sessions of young people on the registration of marriages in the civil status and especially to provide a legal accompaniment to the women of home without this legal obligation.

"We must take things in our hands because it we women who are the first losers when we live without civil marriage. I think that it is time for us to claim our rights and that the government alleviate the costs" said Joséphine Mugoto president of women's league of Kamanyola.

Collected by Raissa KASONGO, Femme au fone

SUD – KIVU: Femme au fone sensitizes for a good awareness of articles during the celebration of marriages at the registry office

Domestic violence that endergo some women in their homes in south – kivu are mostly caused by the lack of registry marriages. Messages from the awareness of articles by people celebrating them during the celebration of these weddings. Retrograde customs accentuate the violence suffered by some women in their homes. This is what emerges from the messages received at Femme au fone system this year 2017. The monitoring study conducted by women's synergy for peace and renunciation last August 2017, in the context of femme au fone project shows that "many violence suffered by women are caused by inequality between men and women in the marriage. This inequality is reinforced by the tradition and the interpretation of the laws read during the celebration of the marriage" This study was conducted in Walungu, at Kamanyola and in Kadutu commune. One can still read in the repport of this study that in these three areas some people celebrating marriages still use the old family code with no care to the revised articles others still celebrate marriages with no reference to any document of law. This situation should be changed for legal security and women considerations in the family and community.

Sensitization through the media

Femme au fone editorial has organized a talk show about the theme "The interpretation of articles in civil marriage ant the safety of women in the home". The purpose is to sensitize the community as well as the celebrants to pass an appropriate message and explain to the inhabitants the importance of marriage registered at the registry office. The responsibility of the organization of women right defense "vision sociale" (social vision) Lawyer Papy Kajabika thinks that the civil registration officer should do all his best and explain spouses what is marriage and what is its purpose. For that, the matrimonial regime must be well explained so that the management of their property.

We also wish that the new family code be used during the celebration of marriage by the registrars of civil status so that the duties and rights of the spouses are clear and everyone knows his role for the harmony in the house highlight Jeanne Kabungulu an advocacy officer at Femme au fone project and assistant to program at the SPR.

The head of women to the Diocesan justice and peace commission at Materdei parish Françoise Kikunda invites the youth of Bukavu to understand the importance of the civil marriage in the way that it stand for security in the house, increases love between both partners and confers the right of inheritance to the offspring.

Collected by Eliane Polepole

SOUTH – KIVU: The journalists of Bukavu undertake to popularize the new provisions of the family code.

The journalists of Bukavu undertake to popularize the new provision of the family code in their daily shows and animations. It was during a press conference organized by media women's association (AFEM) in the project context of femme au fone. This conference was held on Wednesday 18, October 2017 in Mont Kahuzi hall in Bukavu town Ibanda commune.

It was a concern for journalists and organization of women's rights promotion to take of the role of media and all these organization to improve the security of women in their homes in south – kivu province "The greatest security for a woman in her home is marriage registration at the registry office according to the message received at femme au fone system" explains the head of AFEM Douce Namwezi.

Mr Sourire Muhigwa advocacy office within AFEM conducted a comparison exercise of old and new provisions of the Congolese family code from the progress made in the protection if the family and spouses, after reading many press articles made by femme au fone talking about the question of women's security in their homes especially in rural areas.

For several women's rights organization, it is really important that society be sensitized on the new text of law and they promised that they will increase sensitization in their organization because the new provisions are a little bit favorable to the development of the woman in the household.

"Marriage registration at the registry office secures women in their homes" it was the theme during that press conference. This activity is organized according to the organizations as part of the media complain organized by Femme au fone consortium the same theme. Were present: several women's rights organization and journalists of local press in Bukavu.

Femme au fone is a project implemented in the province of south – kivu by AFEM, Maendeleo radio, the collection of women for peace and reconciliation SPR and the NGO Cordaid.

Collected by Honneur David Safari

The sloe R.D.C

Fees charged to the civil state, a blockage to civil marriage

The absence of civil marriage, remains a reality in south – kivu province. In different territories of south – kivu marriages are registered and celebrated at the taste of the registry.

Case of Kamanyola grouping in Walungu territory where less than four marriages are celebrated per month at the registry office that actually has more than 80.000 people.

Several people bemoan fees charged and other things that are asked by the registry office. Some people think that the civil marriage is reserved to a category of people able to gather twenty dollars together with other things to register the marriage at the registry office case of Walung territory.

This low rate is also reinforced by poverty, retrograde customs, low community awareness, heavy family loads, removal from the registry office for some villages early and forced marriages fees of high degree charged for marriage registration.

Some men even think that it is important to register the marriage at the registry office after reassuring himself that the woman is capable of giving birth and others like the possibility to select or make another choice before taking all the commitment that one must take.

This situation of asking much money has been demeaned by the inhabitants of Katana grouping in Kabare territory who explain that this situation consist of a blockage to marriages between men and women.

"Here at home, fees charged to celebrate marriage at the registry office are fixed at 66000 Congolese francs, it is much money. The cost of life does not allow us to easily gather that a sum complains CIRENGE, inhabitant of Katanta.

At Kadutu commune, $30 is the amount that is required as registration fees of a marriage at the registry office. This money apart from other conditions that one has to fulfill:

- To buy two chairs and other accessories.

In that commune like Bagira and Ibanda the fees charged are different when it is only the head of the commune himself or his agent at the registry office who celebrate the marriage registration.

When it is the head of the commune himself in Bagira commune, the required fees is 120000 Congolese and his agent 85000 Congolese francs. In Ibanda commune, far the celebrate of a marriage the couple must pay 131000 Congolese francs. This situation hinder many couples to register.

Collected by Isabelle Riba

The civil marriage, women's rights security in their homes

The Congolese family code recognizes three types of marriages:

- The customary marriage

- The civil marriage and

- The religious marriage

Among these three types of marriage, it is the civil marriages which is considered because through this one couples receive from the head officer of the registry office a document attesting that the man and the woman are officially engaged and it is thanks to this document that the head officer can refer if this couple wants to get divorced the 370th article of the family code says:

"During the three months that follow the celebration of the marriage in the family, the spouses go to the head of the registry office to register that marriage and make its advertisement. Each of the spouses is accompanied by a witness" This is why in DRC and in south – kivu in particular, women consider that the marriage that is registered at registry office offers an ever lasting warranty of security in the household. There are women who are not considered after the death of their husbands, they are chassed by their in – laws families.

Feminine organizations of defense and promotion of women's rights have taken this problem like theirs and are doing all their best so that women maybe established in their rights and live in even lasting security in their houses.

Thanks to sensitizations and especially those made by femme au fone in many territories, men and women have understood the importance of the registration of their marriages at the registry office.

South – Kivu: People celebrating the civil marriage are committed to use the new family code for the women's security in their homes.

The head offices of the registry office of Kamanyola, Kabare Walungu and Bukavu are committed to popularize the new provisions of the family code from July 15th, 2016 during the registry and celebration of civil marriage.

This commitment is the result of a take debate organized on thursday, October 26th, 2017 by the surney of women for peace and reconciliation in femme au fone project.

During this talk, participants have talked about strategies to use to push inhabitants in their communities to register their marriages at the registry office. It is one of warranties for women in their homes, according to Jeanne Kabungulu head of the consortium of femme au fone.

"The out come of the study that we have done shows that many women have no access to registered marriage that guarantees their rights in the household, especially in territories where people use the old family code. The civil marriage is a legal act which clarifies the duty of men and women in the household showing the commitment of one towards another" explains Jeanne Kabungulu.

Administers of territories and their representatives have decided to sensitize their populations about the importance of the registered marriage at the registry office.

"According to what is our concern in Baraka, we will sensitize the authorities of the registry office to practice the new family code during the celebration of marriages. We will also sensitize other women so as they may ask then husbands to register their marriages at the registry office, because it is proved that a marriage without legal act is of no security" explains Gérard Kitungano (Administer of Kabare Territory).

This meeting was held at Exodus Hotel in Ibanda Commune.