Uganda’s bans ‘bride price’ re­fund

Lesotho Times - - Cartoons & Puzzles -

KAMPALA — Uganda’s top court has banned the prac­tice of re­fund­ing bride price — nor­mally live­stock given by the groom to his bride’s fam­ily — when a mar­riage ends in di­vorce.

The Supreme Court agreed with ac­tivists that the prac­tice un­der­mines the dig­nity of women but it up­held the prac­tice of pay­ing bride price.

Ac­tivists who pe­ti­tioned the court had hoped the whole cul­ture of giv­ing gifts would be de­clared un­con­sti­tu­tional on the grounds that it re­duces women to the sta­tus of prop­erty. still, Leah Nabun­nya, a spokes­woman for a Ugan­dan group that launched the case, said the court’s de­ci­sion is a vic­tory for women’s rights.

“The court’s pro­nounce­ment is a win for us,” said Nabun­nya, of the Mi­fumi Pro­ject.

Nabun­nya said stud­ies con­ducted by her group show that many women are stuck in abu­sive mar­riages be­cause quit­ting means their fam­i­lies will be ob­li­gated to make a re­fund of the bride price. Such women’s fam­i­lies of­ten can­not af­ford to re­turn the gifts, she said.

In ban­ning the prac­tice of re­turn­ing gifts in the event of a failed mar­riage, the judges said Thurs­day that women were not com­modi­ties be­ing traded in the mar­ket­place.

— AP

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