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Cohabiting women work with advocates on laws to protect them

By: Melanie Aanyu

Aanyu Melanie | 95timefm

The Uganda Association of Women Lawyers (FIDA – Uganda) have petitioned court to compel government to come up with a law that will protect the rights of women who are in cohabiting relationships, especially when couples separate.

FIDA – Uganda alongside Ms Annette Nassozi, in their law suit filed yesterday (wednesday) before the High Court in Kampala, said not having a law to protect the rights of cohabiting women, tantamounts to discrimination and a violation of the Constitution.

Core to the law suit is that Ms Nassozi cohabited with Mr William Kasenge for 27 years and in the process contributed to the buying of property and also used her own resources to construct rented houses but on her man’s land. The couple had four children.

Court documents show that after the couple developed irreconcilable differences, the man has since denied her access to her rentals because there are no existing laws that recognise her as a “legal wife”.

The petitioners further contend that government has an obligation within the meaning of articles 21 and 33 (2) and (3) of the Constitution to undertake legislative reform to eliminate any form of discrimination against women in family life, including discrimination on the basis of marital status and sex.