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As gender equity rises, more Ugandan women seek divorce; marriage now a partnership of equals

Uganda is seeing a rise in the number of women seeking divorce, in part because of a more equal legal environment and increased education for women.

Ugandan lawmakers are currently considering legislation, expected to pass this year, which would make it clear that a man and a woman enjoy equal rights in a marriage. Uganda's president, widely seen as sympathetic to women's rights, has said the country needs such a law.

In 2004 Uganda's Constitutional Court nullified a law that made it virtually impossible for a woman to get a divorce. Magistrate David Batema, who presides over divorce hearings, says that in today's age of gender equality, a marriage should not be "a bed of thorns." He says men need to learn that marriage is a partnership of equals.