Friday, 7 August 2015

Briefly: Court Outlaws Bride Price Refund In Uganda

Uganda's Supreme Court has ruled that the practice of refunding a bride price on the dissolution of a customary marriage is unconstitutional and should be banned.
The judges said it suggested that women were in a market place and infringed on their right to divorce. Campaigners said it turns a woman into the husband's property. 
Before the ruling, the wife is expected to refund her bride price - often paid in livestock, should a marriage end in divorce. But it was argued that as women tend to have less wealth than their husbands, many became trapped in unhappy relationships.
The women's rights organisation Mifumi, which brought the case, welcomed the ruling, despite not getting everything it campaigned for. Mifumi said that bride price encouraged domestic violence and could lead a man to think that he had paid for his wife's "sexual and reproductive capacity".
Six of the seven judges said that the direct link between the bride price and domestic violence had not been proved. However, they did say that using the phrase "bride price" was wrong as it made it look like the woman was purchased.
The only dissenting opinion came from Justice Esther Kisakye, who said that while the constitution supports culture "it [only] validates customs that respect the rights of all Ugandans".

Credit : BBC

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