• Open Access

Reforming Marriage: A Comparative Approach



In this article, I examine the case for privatising marriage and replacing civil marriage with inclusive civil union policies. I argue against this proposal because of its likely detrimental impact on the social standing of women and girls. In order to assess the importance of civil marriage historically and cross-culturally, I examine a contemporary debate over marriage reform in some predominantly Islamic societies in regard to temporary marriage. I also propose a policy to protect the interests of children of both married and unmarried parents, so that this issue will be less of a stumbling block to proposals for inclusive civil marriage.