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Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga: Ugandan speaker of parliament

New speaker of Ugandan Parliament vows to bring in law so that women have legal share in husbands property

Rebecca Alitwala Kadaga (55) is changing the country’s political landscape and making history by becoming the first female speaker of Uganda’s parliament on May 19, 2011.

And one of the first things she will do as speaker will be to ensure that parliament enacts the Marriage and Divorce Bill 2009 into law.

The bill, in various forms, has been under consideration for forty years. Once enacted, the bill will recognise co-habitation in relation to property rights, among other things.

The Marriage and Divorce Bill 2009, which also seeks to consolidate laws relating to marriage, separation and divorce lapsed with the end of the last parliament. The bill was being considered by the Legal Affairs Committee of parliament but it could not be considered by parliament as its term ended on May 18.


Feb 2011: By Rosebell Kagumire - "In my home village of Kibona, Bushenyi district, a vote was going for about 30,000 shillings... In some parts people were paid as low as 500 Ushs to vote for the president."


Women in Uganda

In Uganda women face a wide range of challenges including discrimination, low social status, lack of economic self sufficiency, and greater risk of HIV/AIDS infection.

More than 27 million out of a population of 32 million people live in rural Uganda, the majority of whom have not been shielded from the harsh realities of poverty.

Lack of access to water and sanitation is already exposing rural women in conflict areas to more dangers like battering, rape and poverty. But with the looming impacts expected due to climate change, these dangers are feared to double.

Due to social gender roles, women are made responsible to meet water and sanitation needs of the family. In North Eastern Uganda, like Karamoja and Teso, a woman walks an average of ten kilometers in the dry season for water, spending 15-17 hours a week looking for water. This means that the same woman will spend two months of her time a year just walking long distances in search for water.


Dec 2010: By Jennifer Timmons - "In northern Uganda, many women lost the use of limbs due to landmines or gunshot wounds, were mutilated by rebels, sustained injuries in fires..."

Violence against women in N Uganda

UGANDA - In July 2010, a 30 year-old woman was brutally murdered by a brother in-law in Ogan northern Uganda. Susan Adong, who had three children, was seven months pregnant...