Feminists Want Gender Related Laws Passed Before 2021 Elections

By Eve Muganga

Women rights defender has called for an expeditious passing of all pending gender-related bills before the country heads for the 2021 general elections.

Under the Uganda Women’s network, organizations argue that women freedom spaces continue to shrink despite attempts by the government to develop various emancipation frameworks.

These including; the Uganda Women Network (UWONET) Secretariat, Girls Forum Uganda and Quiin Abenakyo Foundation argue that bills like the Sexual Offences Bill, the Marriage and Divorce Bill, the succession amendment bill and many other policies, are essential tools for a violence-free Society for Women and Girls.

During their “Safety Walk” a tour through the Kikubamutwe Slams in Kabalagala, a Kampala Suburb on Wednesday, the activists urged authorities for more swift laws to ease women access to credit for financial independence.

UWONET’s Head of Advocacy Ms Sandra Komuhimbo said successful enactment of laws to harmonize marriage and succession would position women in a more independent perspective to defend their rights across both social and economic dimensions.

“Look at residences in here, they are mere havens for drug abusers and hideouts for criminals, unsafe for girls and women, and only the passing of the sexual offences bill and many other related bills can protect the girls and women from the daily sexual violence,” argued Ms Komuhimbo.

2019-elections

Meanwhile, 2018 Miss World Africa Quiin Abenakyo, called for more engagement with the men and boys, the perpetrators of sexual violence, for a more sound solution to such acts.

SEXUAL OFFENCES BILL

 “The Sexual offences bill first tabled in the 9th parliament in 2015, has been at committee stage till last month when it was resolved by Speaker that it should be re-written and re-tabled after enormous amendments into it deemed to change its original shape,” Ms Abenakyo said.

The bill seeks to consolidate laws relating to sexual offences and provide procedural and evidential requirements during trial of sexual offences and proposes several measures to check among others, sexual harassment in schools by guardians or teachers.

SUCCESSION AMENDMENT BILL

The Bill that was moved by Mbarara Woman MP, Kajungu Mutambi aims at amending the Succession Act, Cap 162, to match the related provisions of the constitution, and other globally accepted rights standards, by creating succession gender equality in relation to articles 21 and 33 of the Ugandan constitution.

However while at committee stage, government through the Attorney General expressed interest to take it over while presenting a number of other bills.

THE MARRIAGE AND DIVORCE BILL

The bill tabled in 2009 seeks to reform and consolidate the law relating to marriage, separation and divorce; to provide for the types of recognized marriages in the country and marital rights and duties.

Late last year, however, government through the Attorney General sought for more time to consult over the controversial bill that has stayed in the shelves of the legislative body for over ten years, after tough resistance from various stakeholders.

Source: The Monitor

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