The Speaker of Parliament, Rebecca Kadaga, has tasked MPs in the 10th Parliament to pass the gender related bills, one of which has stalled since 1967.
In a conference organised by the Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) to sensitise Members on the laws lined up for urgent consideration, Kadaga said the laws should pass as a form of accountability to ordinary women who she said are interested in the Bill.
“What can we account to the women by way of legislation; we need to design additional programmes on how we are going to support the women in the 11th Parliament,” she said.
“The succession law is coming very late; when you separate, you need to have laws that guide separation,” she added.
The Bills lined up include the Employment Bill, the Sexual Offences Bill, the Marriage and Divorce Bill and the Succession Bill.
Hon. Pamela Kamugo (NRM, Budaka) said the Bills touch on the interest of women, who she said have for long been disinherited on the occasion of death of their spouse.
Kamugo, also the current UWOPA Chairperson, said they have enlisted the Speaker’s support to ensure the Bills succeed.
“We are looking forward to your support in passing those Bills,” she said at the conference held at the Golf Course Hotel in Kampala between 4 and 5 March 2021.
The Succession Bill makes proposals on estates management and seeks to change the meaning of principle residential building which is currently defined as the residence where the couple resides, to include land and income, which the amendment proposes should immediately go to the surviving spouse.
This proposal is controversial, with MP James Waluswaka (NRM, Bunyole West), voicing his resistance of the proposal.
Other contentious issues include whether cohabitation amounts to marriage, but was quickly dropped because it sparked off a lot of criticism.
Speaker Kadaga challenged the 10th Parliament to ensure it passes the Bills and exhaustively address the controversial clauses.
The Marriage and Divorce Bill, she said, should be passed because divorce “is a fact of life.”
In the case that the 10th Parliament is to consider the Bills, it has less than three months to do so, and must squeeze through the National Budget, which has strict legal timelines.