The Domestic Relations Bill is a crucial piece of legislation for Ugandan women. It addresses women's property rights in marriage and women's right to negotiate sex, it sets the minimum age of marriage at eighteen, prohibits female genital mutilation (FGM) and criminalises widow inheritance. Bride price is still not prohibited, but the payment of bride price will no longer be essential for formalising customary marriages. The bill criminalises marital rape and provides for civil remedies, such as compensation and restricting orders. The Domestic Relations Bill does still not consider cohabitation as de facto marriage, but provides parties in such relationships with certain rights, including the right to register the fact they live together and any monetary or non-monetary contributions made. A competent court may then distribute the property equitably in accordance with those contributions. Polygamy is also strictly regulated by guidelines that provide for the economic support of all wives. The bill also provides for equal sexual rights and establishes more equitable grounds for divorce. This paper also discusses domestic and international law and Islamic Family Law and argues that though the reforms are a step forward, they do not go far enough.
Auteurs et éditeurs
V. von Struensee
Fournisseur de données
BRIDGE is a research and information programme located within IDS Knowledge Services. We are part of a global movement whose vision is a world where gender equality, dignity and social justice prevail, where poverty is eliminated and where human rights – including women’s rights - are realised.