Uganda: After years of a protracted battle against Uganda’s “bride price” practice, the country’s Supreme Court this week ruled that husbands can no longer demand that it be returned in the event of dissolution of a customary marriage but has stopped short of declaring the practice itself unconstitutional.
In a country in which most marriages are customary, women’s rights activists have hailed the decision as a step in the right direction for greater equality in the marriage relationship but had hoped that the court would rule the bride price – or dowry – itself unconstitutional.
MIFUMI had wanted the whole issue of bride price totally abolished, the fact that court had ruled against refund was something to celebrate after 15 years of struggle against the practice.
“There are fathers and brothers of brides facing civil suit because they failed to return the bride price, while thousand if not millions of women across the country have been abused because of failure to refund the bride price. This ruling will liberate many of them,” said Solomy Awiidi, a legal officer with MIFUMI.
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