Commenting on the Marriage Bill introduced by the Tororo Woman MP, Hon Sarah Opendi in parliament last week, RX Radio presenter Olive Najjuma said if passed, the law will protect women from being considered property by their husbands.
According to Opendi, there is a need to streamline the laws regulating marriage in Uganda to fit the current age and international best practices. Among the critical elements, the bill will revise are the bridal gifts that will not be mandatory for a marriage ceremony.
Opendi pointed to the ill-treatment women are sometimes subjected to, on the basis of bridal gifts to their families. The same law will protect women's rights in marriage and clearly stipulate the provisions on property sharing in the event of a divorce.
Giving her views about the proposed bill, Olive said, “In most cases, trouble arises from the argument some men make of having bought their wives or paid something for them, and coerce them to do what they please for themselves. And to a degree, they are right because that's what it seems to be. So if the gifts are taken away, which am not sure they will because they are partly rooted in our culture.”
Further, the law will safeguard the property owners in case of a divorce. If a spouse partly contributed to the acquisition of a property in monetary or any kind, she/ he will acquire the equivalent of what they contributed.
Pius, a contributor to the topic in discussion, opined that the bill somewhat gives leverage to women to call for divorce given the protection it offers them.
However, he also said it will protect partners from property theft in the event of a tragedy such as the death of one.
“We’ve seen ladies getting implicated in circumstances as these, where the husband’s relatives claim the family property. I think this law will help protect ownership on both sides which I think is fair enough,” he said.
The Fatboy show is hosted by James Onen aka Fatboy, Olive, and Sarah every weekday from 6 am to 10 am on RX Radio.