Women MPs to meet male counterparts over marriage Bill
Posted Thursday, March 14 2013 at 02:00
Thirteen male MPs on Tuesday petitioned Government Chief Whip Kasule Lumumba asking for a suspension of the debate on the Bill.
Female MPs have invited their male counterparts to an emergency meeting aimed at salvaging the Marriage and Divorce Bill which has sharply divided opinion in Parliament.
The Uganda Women Parliamentarians Association (UWOPA) upon realising that they need the backing of male MPs -- who form the majority in Parliament -- have called the meeting in Parliament today.
Parliament is composed of 135 female MPs and 251 male legislators (including non-voting ex-officio members). A large number of the male MPs are opposed to some clauses in the Bill, especially on cohabitation and sharing of property.
“We have agreed to have more dialogue with the male MPs tomorrow... The law protects their properties especially those they acquired before marriage. The law also allows spouses to enter into a contract of how sharing of property will be done,” Ms Betty Amongi, the UWOPA chairperson, said yesterday.
“We want to narrow down issues they want. We shall also be accommodative on issues of conjugal rights.”
Thirteen male MPs on Tuesday petitioned Government Chief Whip Kasule Lumumba asking for a suspension of the on-going debate on the Marriage and Divorce Bill.
The MPs, who are all from the ruling NRM party, said they want a two-month hiatus to allow them consult their constituents. They indicated in the petition that the clauses hitherto passed “in a hurried manner” be recommitted for reconsideration by the House.
But Ms Amongi said the Bill is in its final stages and Parliament has already pronounced itself on some clauses, adding that “it’s too late for the MPs to demand that the clauses be recommitted”. “I would have no problem with giving more time but the principle will be based on providing amendments to the Bill. We can wait for the two months after all we have waited for 47 years,” she said.