Female MPs in Kenya have stormed out of a late-night parliamentary session in a row over the legalisation of polygamy.
The law is intended to bring civil law, where a man is only allowed one wife, into line with customary law, where some cultures allow multiple partners.
But male MPs voted to amend the new marriage bill to allow men to take as many wives as they like without consulting existing spouses.
Traditionally, first wives are supposed to give prior approval.
Correspondents say about 30 of Kenya’s 69 female MPs were in the 349-member chamber for the debate but were outnumbered by their male counterparts.
The women walked out in disgust over the matter.
The marriage bill now passes to the president to sign before it becomes law.
MP Samuel Chepkong’a, who proposed the amendment, said that when a woman got married under customary law, she understood that the marriage was open to polygamy, so no consultation was necessary, Kenya’s Daily Nation newspaper reports.
Mohammed Junet, an MP representing a constituency from the western Nyanza province, agreed.
“When you marry an African woman, she must know the second one is on the way and a third wife… this is Africa,” Kenya’s Capital News website quotes him as saying.
But female MPs argued that such a decision would affect the whole family, including the financial position of other spouses.
“It behoves you to be man enough to agree that your wife and family should know,” Capital News quotes Soipan Tuya, the women’s representative from Narok County, as saying.