Speaker Kadaga reveals how gov’t tried to kill & replace sexual offences Bill

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The Speaker of Parliament has commended Uganda Women Parliamentary Association (UWOPA) for standing up to the executive and moving with the gender-related bills that have been passed.

Kadaga was today Speaking at the Awards Ceremony at Parliament where UWOPA celebrated members for their role in passing bills that protect women. While officiating at the event, Kadaga who stepped out of the ongoing plenary to attend the event, said that Government had tried to impede the sexual offenses bill and the succession bill.

She said that she was called by the Minister in charge of Gender on Friday last week requesting her not to proceed with the bill.

Kadaga said that the Minister claimed that Government would bring a separate bill, but she stood her ground and said if Government is not satisfied with the bill, they can make amendments. 

According to Kadaga, this was the same case with the succession bill where Government actually brought in another bill, and Parliament ends up with two bills. She hailed UWOPA leadership for their strong stand even when the executive wanted to stop the process.

Pamella Nasiyo the Chairperson UWOPA says that without the Speaker, the gender-related bills wouldn’t have seen light at the end of the day. She says UWOPA succeeded in bringing several gender bills, and most of them were passed, except for the Marriage and Divorce Bill which is yet to be passed.

Some of the key members recognised are former UWOPA chairperson and Kumi Woman MP Monica Amoding, current UWOPA chair Pamella Nasiyo and the Leader of Opposition Betty Aol Ochan. Others are Agnes Kunihira who spearheaded the employments bill and Safia Nalule who brought a bill on disability among others. Speaker Kadaga was also recognized for her outstanding role in supporting women’s rights and the development of UWOPA forum.  

The sexual offenses bill criminalizes prostitution, same-sex marriage, any form of sexual harassment for instance unsolicited contact by a man or woman including gestures, obscene expressions and touch among others.

The succession bill however seeks to ensure equality and equity in the distribution of the deceased estates. For instance, of the deceased or testators wealth, the surviving spouse or spouses will take 20 percent, the dependent relatives take 4 percent, the linear descendants or biological and adopted children take 75 percent while the customary heir will take 1 percent. 

The repealed act provided for only 15 per cent for the spouse.

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