Female activists and their male counterparts have asked Parliament to speed up the process of passing the Marriage and Divorce Bill into law.
The Bill has sparked off public debate because of its focus on the social, cultural issues and the power relations within the family.
Rita Aciro Laker, an official from Uganda Women's Network, says the Bill would go a long way in preventing Domestic violence targeting women.
Laker presented a petition to Edward Ssekandi, the speaker of Parliament. She said that Parliament set a precedent by dragging on with the Domestic violence Bill, raising more uncertainities about whether the Marriage and Divorce Bill can be passed expeditiously.
Laker says the Marriage Bill would complement the Domestic Violence Bill that was passed two months ago by Parliament.
According to the Domestic Violence Bill, a person in a domestic relationship, who engages in domestic violence, commits an offence and is liable on conviction to a fine not exceeding sh96,000 or imprisonment not exceeding two years or both.
The Marriage Bill abolishes widow inheritance, wants impotent men to be divorced, makes bride price not compulsory, disallows same sex marriages and recognizes cohabiting for five years as a marriage.
The churches have opposed upgrading the status of long cohabiting into marriages.
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Ssekandi says 60% of women and girls have been affected by domestic violence.
He says some boys and men were beginning to experience domestic violence and this needs to be addressed.
Responding to the petition, Sekandi said Parliament would pass the Marriage and Divorce Bill soon. He said stopping domestic violence requires collective effort.
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The Marriage Bill according to Uganda Law Reform Commission, is a product of a comprehensive study in which all relevant stakeholders were consulted.
The Bill stipulates matrimonial conjugal rights and obligations of spouses and states that a spouse has a right to deny his or her partner sex and that forceful sex results in both criminal and civil liabilities.
The Marriage Bill states that where a spouse has sex with the other spouse against the spouse's consent, the act shall create both criminal and civil liability and in case of a criminal offence, it shall be punishable on conviction by a fine not exceeding sh240,000 or imprisonment not exceeding five years.
marriage and divorce bill