Female MPs defend Ugandan Marriage and Divorce Bill
Female MPs in Uganda have been defending clauses in the Marriage and Divorce Bill, relating to divorce and the sharing of marital property.
During a recent press conference, MPs in the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) backed a clause that allows divorce if a marriage has irretrievably broken down.
These female legislators also defended a clause related to the sharing of marital property. MPs Connie Nakayenze, Ronnah Ninsiima and UWOPA chairperson Betty Amongi said that in Uganda couples have been separating but women have had to walk away with nothing, despite having accumulated wealth with their husbands.
The Bill was recently brought before the Ugandan parliament and has met stiff opposition from male legislators, as well as religious leaders.
A number of male MPs spoke out during parliamentary sessions, according to the All Africa news website. Terego MP Kassiano Wadri commented on the clause that would allow women an equal share of marital property:
“We are going to have a problem with fleecing women”, he said. This concern was echoed by other male MPs.
The proposed law provides grounds for divorce in cases of adultery, sexual perversion, cruelty, and desertion of one’s spouse for at least two years, change of religion, incest, bestiality, sodomy, homosexuality or pornography.
With regard to shared property, only matrimonial property such as the matrimonial home, household items acquired before or during the marriage are to be equally shared on dissolution of the relationship.
A vote on the Bill is planned for this week.
Photo by sweggs via Flickr under a creative commons license
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Marilyn Stowe is the senior partner in Stowe Family Law, which has offices in Yorkshire, Cheshire and London. With more than 30 years’ experience handling divorce cases and family law proceedings she is regarded as one of the most formidable and sought after divorce lawyers in the UK. In 2012, Marilyn became one of the first solicitors to qualify as a family law arbitrator.
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