Judgement on Bride price case at the Supreme Court
Judgement on MIFUMI’s bride price appeal case will be delivered today (Thursday 6th August 2015) at the Supreme Court at 9:30 a.m.
MIFUMI’s petition first appeared before the Constitutional Court in 2007. The main issues at stake were women’s equality, whether refund of bride price is constitutional and whether bride price causes domestic violence. In 2010, the Justices of the Court ruled 4 to 1 against MIFUMI, maintaining that there are varied causes of spousal abuse and that bride price alone cannot be singled out as the cause of domestic violence. The Justices however agreed that bride price refund undermines the dignity of a woman and does not recognise her contribution to the marriage.
In 2010, an appeal was lodged before the Supreme Court seeking that the Court declares bride price unconstitutional on grounds that it fetters the right to consent and reduces women to property making them susceptible to domestic violence.
MIFUMI’s position is that the practice of bride price should be reformed; bride price should be declared optional and should not be refunded upon the dissolution of a marriage.
For more information, please contact;
Idah Leah Nabunnya 0776 953580 firstname.lastname@example.org
Notes on bride price appeal
MIFUMI filed a petition to the Constitutional Court seeking to declare bride price unconstitutional, on the following grounds:
That the demand for and payment of bride price by the groom to the parents of the bride as practiced by many communities in Uganda, gives rise to conditions of inequality during marriage contrary to Art 31(3) of the Constitution which demands that men and women be accorded equal rights in marriage and at its dissolution; and that this inequality in power relations leads to the rise of domestic violence as the man treats his wife as his property whose sexual and reproductive capacity he paid for.
MIFUMI argued that the demand and refund of bride price as a condition of divorce interferes with the exercise of free consent of the parties of the marriage contrary to the demands of Art 33(1) of the constitution and that this traps women in abusive marriages.
The respondents to the petition are the Attorney General and Justice Kenneth Kakuru.
MIFUMI is a development and women’s rights organisation based in Uganda with headquarters in Tororo. Our work, spanning the other districts of Kampala, Bukedea, Masaka, Moroto and Mbarara, revolves around ending violence against women and girls. We believe that if women were empowered and could rise above many cultural traditions that hold them back, they would be the greatest contributors to development.
Since its establishment in 1994, MIFUMI has directly changed the lives of thousands of women together with their children through comprehensive services in education, health-care, micro-enterprises and domestic violence advocacy.