WHAT is marriage about? Is sex an important part of marriage? The debate on the bill that seeks to give women the right to divorce a man if he is impotent has reached fever pitch. What do the people say?
Crystal Newman, radio presenter
Sex is just as important as anything in marriage because it creates a special bond of intimacy between husband and wife. Besides that, women have needs too. People tend to assume that women do not need sex as much as men do, which is not true, so the bill is necessary.
If a woman gets to a point where she is going to be forced to cheat, it is better if she has the option of divorce so she can get another partner legally.
MP Reagan Okumu
By concentrating on impotence, the bill is being trivialised. Some women have stayed with their husbands even when they could not have sex. There are some bitter women who have failed to have a meaningful relationship with the opposite sex and are seeking to impose their views on the ordinary people.
This is a waste of time and abuse of Ugandansâ€™ integrity. These women should be looking at ways to empower the girl-child so that she can make her own decisions and have her own source of income. They should be looking to protect women against violence.
It should be a personal decision. The real question is whether it is necessary to regulate marital relationships. This bill is likely to destroy the family.
Atuki Turner, executive director of Mifumi Project
We are not animals which have sex for reproduction. People have sex not only to recreate, but also to fulfill the sexual desire that is inherent. Sex is a pleasurable act and is important in marriage. It it is right for the Law Reform Commission to push for the passing of bill because if one cannot consummate a marriage, it can have serious consequences on a relationship.
Steven Langa, counsellor
If impotence happens on the onset, then the marriage is null and void because sex is what kicks the marriage into operation. But if it sets in later, the couple should seek help. Women should not rush into divorce because they can get help.
Sometimes impotence is psychological and this can be brought about by anything from stress to drug abuse, so it might be temporary. Some people think sex is a performance yet it is a language. If you take sex as a performance, you will get worked up and in the process get frustrated and fail to perform.
Prof. Lillian Ekirikubinza, law professor
I will not give my opinion about the importance of sex in marriage, but I want to point out that this bill is not new. People are discussing this issue as if it is the first time they are hearing about it.
The English law which we abide by states that if you are unable to consummate a marriage, you can end it. If you can prove to a judge that a marriage was never consummated, it will be treated like it never even occurred.
Is marriage about sex?