Women under their mother body UWONET have warmly welcome the changes made by the law reform commission in the previous marriage and divorce bill 2009 and now are demanding parliament to consider the new marriage 2017 bill among the priority issues to be handled.
Among the changes in the marriage bill 2017 include, the removal of cohabitation since it was strongly opposed by religious leaders, a provision is introduced on notice of intention to marry under customary marriages, a provision on conversion of a customary monogamous marriage into a Christian or Civil marriage is introduced, a provision on notice of intention to marry is inserted before registration of Hindu Marriages, Except that in this case the notice is to be given to the district registrar who will enter it in the relevant notice book, a new clause on pre nuptial agreements is introduced for parties who might be interested in defining their property rights among others.
Speaking to the executive director, UWONET Rita Akiro on the matter she was visibly happy for the changes saying this now gives confidence to both the men and women who have doubted the fast marriage and divorce bill draft.
She further demands that parliament expeditiously handles the marriage bill 2017 as a priority matter and have it passed before mid next year.
However, some of the women and men we happened to talk to on the changes had both positive and negative reactions to the new bill as though it seems that the changes in the new bill seem to pick out clearly what Ugandans feel about the matter as compared to the previous bill.
Though Uganda has both the marriage and divorce acts which date way back more than 100 years, the two acts seem not to be matching the current trends and hence the need for changes so as to cater for the current situation.
The currently used marriage act and divorce acts were introduced to Uganda by the colonial masters before independence which forced the enactment of the marriage and divorce bill 2009 that received negative criticism from the general public even through the national consultations that were carried out by legislators.