Wednesday, December 23, 2009

News from Uganda... Marriage and HIV bills

The "Marriage and Divorce Bill"
This bill is currently in hot debate all over the country - though the part of the bill most condemned by the international community, the bit criminalizing homosexuality, is the part most widely agreed upon by Ugandans.

For a detailed explanation of the anti-homosexual sections of the bill: 

For the latest on Museveni's apparent reluctance to pass the bill after international condemnation and threats to cut aid to Uganda (based on the anti-homosexual parts): 

On provisions of the bill affecting women (e.g. cohabitation recognised with regard to distribution of property at separation, widow inheritance abolished, impotent men to be divorced, bride price not to be compulsory)

While I am unable to find a link to any news about it, I believe that another section of this bill proposes short-term marriage contracts between men and women, where a reduced bride price could be paid to a woman's family in order to attain, say, a year's marriage contract. The contract could then be renewed if  both parties were interested.  This leaves interesting questions about the provision for children produced during such a short-term marriage

The "Prevention and Control of HIV/AIDS Bill" 
A bill that critics say amounts to criminalizing HIV-positive status, might eliminate confidentiality of test results, could discourage individuals from getting tested or from disclosing their status, and will likely increase the level of HIV-transmission...

Explanation of bill

Human Rights Watch critique of bill: 

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