Women activists have started collecting signatures in an online petition portal to rally Parliament to recognize cohabitation and property sharing after divorce.
Parliament has for a long time sat on the Marriage and Divorce Bill to the disappointment of women activists who think that this Bill once passed will protect women from being ‘used and dumped.’ The Bill proposes to recognize cohabitation as a form of marriage and that in case of divorce then the woman is entitled to property sharing. The Bill also recognizes rape in marriage- a clause that males have protested.
In the petition, women activists want to pile pressure on MPs to hastily pass the Bill to protect women.
“Those women who have been in cohabitation marriages are always marginalized. A man can decide to dump this woman and marry another woman, makes her official. This woman can’t get a share of any property despite the fact that her time has been wasted and has kids to take care of,” Suzan Nawonga, one of the petitioners said.
Women MPs under their association Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) have on several occasions pushed Speaker of Parliament to quickly put the Bill on order paper and have it considered for debate.