Journal Article

Women's Rights to Equality and Non-discrimination: Discriminatory Family Legislation in Uganda and the Role of Uganda's Constitutional Court

Manisuli Ssenyonjo

in International Journal of Law, Policy and the Family

Volume 21, issue 3, pages 341-372
Published in print December 2007 | ISSN: 1360-9939
Published online December 2007 | e-ISSN: 1464-3707 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/lawfam/ebm010
Women's Rights to Equality and Non-discrimination: Discriminatory Family Legislation in Uganda and the Role of Uganda's Constitutional Court

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In 1995 Uganda adopted the Constitution of the Republic of Uganda 1995 which protected a wide range of human rights including women's rights to equality and freedom from discrimination. Article 33(6) of the Constitution prohibited ‘laws, customs or traditions which are against the dignity, welfare or interest of women’. However, more than ten years later legislation, customary laws and practices have continued to be in force largely due to the lack of political will to confront issues of inequality and discrimination in a holistic and comprehensive manner. This article examines such discriminatory laws against women and the jurisprudence of Uganda's Constitutional Court in the areas of divorce, criminalization of adultery, succession and marriage laws. Using a comparative approach, it observes that these laws conflict with Uganda's Constitution as well as regional and international human rights treaties to which Uganda is a State party. It recommends that discriminatory laws should be harmonized with principles of equality and non-discrimination, and advocates for a litigation strategy.

Journal Article.  14307 words. 

Subjects: Family Law ; Marriage and the Family

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