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A group of child rights and social activists seeking equal rights for men and women and gender neutral marital laws will hold a day-long protest in Delhi Aug 18, an activist said Thursday.

“The protest will be held at Jantar Mantar against the amendments in the marriage billwhich recognise a wife’s right to property acquired by her spouse during their marriage,” Bangalore-based CRISP (Children’s Rights Initiative for Shared Parenting) founder and president Kumar V. Jahgirdar said.

The union cabinet has approved the Marriage Law (Amendment Bill2010) which will be tabled in the ongoing monsoon session of parliament.

“The bill does not deal with issues like custody of children and visitation rights. It’s based on the flawed presumption that the child is best taken care by the mother only.”

“Children are going to be major losers if this bill is passed as absence of father will hamper their welfare,” Jahgirdar told IANS.

A number of men’s rights groups are opposing ‘women-centric’ amendments in the Marriage Law, as in case of divorce men would have to part with their property.

CRISP, a non-government organisation with more than 2,500 members, is also demanding shared parenting and joint custody of children as a rule in divorce or separation cases.

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