Introduction outstanding issues Parliament had to considerIntroduction outstanding issues Parliament had to consider

Introduction

The Bill was tabled in 2003 as the Domestic Relations Bill as a product of studies and recommendations by FIDA- Uganda, Ministry of women in Development, Culture and Youth and Uganda Law Reform Commission but was rejected by the Muslim community opposing the provisions that were banning polygamy. In 2006, Parliament rejected the Bill and hence split it into the Muslim Personal Law Bill, which covers Muslim marriages, and the Marriage and Divorce Bill for the other religious denominations. In 2009, the Bill was tabled for the fourth time in Parliament as the Marriage and Divorce Bill. However, the it attracted mixed reactions amongst MPs which resulted into failure to register any success.

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Status of the Bill

In March 2013 the Speaker of Parliament requested Members to go and consult their constituents on the Bill. In the consultations, most media reports suggested that it was to be rejected. The Bill received opposition from among others the Uganda Joint Christian Council which claimed that it offered inducements for divorce, turned cohabitation into marriage, and made a woman and a man equal in the marriage setting, are contrary to the Christian teaching while feminist groups supported it.

 

 In February 2015, the Speaker resurrected the Bill notifying MPs that passing the Marriage and Divorce Bill is one of the outstanding issues Parliament had to consider in its session.  However, no success was registered as some activists and religious leaders uttered that the speaker had resurrected a very dangerous Bill while most Feminists were jubilating.