‘The men who mean what they say and do what they mean’. Bravo Nickson, Arthur, Richard, Justus and Warren.
Today our male colleagues came out in public, not only in support of the Marriage and Divorce Bill but also to raise the fundamental issues that the Bill intends to address such as; equality, social justice and dignity.
The press conference at the Uganda National NGO Forum was organized and led by men, senior activists, committed to improving the status of women and men in society and ultimately national development.
The key issues raised at the press conference include among others; the Bill is constitutional, the Bill intends to address inequalities, the Bill is derived from wide consultations, the Bill promotes fairness and justice in families.
It is unfortunate that the Bill has been mismanaged by its owners (Government) particularly the majority of Members of Parliament who either didn’t read or have the capacity to internalize and hence have deliberately misinformed the public.
While MPs may think our society still condone injustices between women and men, the male champions warned the politicians that it might turn out to be politically risky for them.
To add a real life situation to what the Bill intends to address, Arthur and Warren gave personal experiences which ‘nailed it to the head’. I particularly liked the real life experiences for example Arthur’s wife was totally against the Bill because of the misinformation from the media. However after a one and half hour reading of the Bill clause by clause, she turned in total support of the Bill. This is just one experience of the misperceptions and ill-informed society on the Bill.
On the other hand, Warren brought the realities to our faces. He gave an example of how he stood up to defend his mother when she was abused by his father. When he stood up to his father that was the last time he abused her. Since that incidence Warren promised himself to never do anything that will make his son(s) do the same to him.
In regards to bride price, Warren gave an experience of his sister who left her marriage and the family was made to refund the bride price. He and his family were victims of return of bride price.
Warren continued to illustrate how bride price has sustained male dominance. Warren and his brothers went to school while their school fees was derived from the bride price paid for their sisters. Whenever his parents run out of fees, they would look out for the next in-law who hadn’t completed paying bride price for any of his sisters.
“I found it humiliating whenever we had to ask for the ‘balance’ from my sister’s bride price to pay our school fees”.
Ladies and gentlemen, which other stories can speak to the hearts of Ugandans to justify a law that regulates marriage, promotes equality, fairness and justice at marriage, during and at its dissolution.
Once again, BRAVO to you all who lead by example. As you all said, we will follow this Bill to wherever it will go and bring it back to life.
The struggle continues, I hope the rest will join us.
My sincere appreciation,
Rita Aciro Lakor,
For the Press Release please follow this link: http://ngoforum.or.ug/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=257%3Amarriage-and-divorce-bill-men-champions-speak-out&catid=76%3Astatements&Itemid=146
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