Baby steps

Ugandan Supreme Court outlaws “bride price” refunds

KAMPALA, UGANDA - DECEMBER 3 (Photo by Marco Di Lauro/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court in Uganda ruled on Thursday that refunding a “bride price” after a customary marriage dissolves should be banned as it is unconstitutional — a decision that elicited an audible gasp from some in the courtroom. However, the court still holds that a bride price is legal. The nation’s top court said that the refund should be illegal because it stipulates that women are part of a market place, and it creates barriers to their right to divorce. According to the BBC, the bride price is often paid not in money, but in livestock, what many believe to be a non-commercial transaction and simply a cultural tradition. Evelyn Schiller, a spokesperson for Mifumi, a women’s rights organization told the BBC, “This is a momentous occasion … and this ruling will aid the fight against women and girl’s rights abuses.”

Read the full story at The BBC.

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