Uganda: is paying a dowry a bad idea? Does a dowry mean a bride is for sale? Female activists in Uganda want the custom abolished and replaced with unsolicited, non-refundable gifts. Agnes Asiimwe reports from Kampala.

New AfricanNbr. 498, August 2010

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Uganda: is paying a dowry a bad idea? Does a dowry mean a bride is for sale? Female activists in Uganda want the custom abolished and replaced with unsolicited, non-refundable gifts. Agnes Asiimwe reports from Kampala.

You either give me 21 cows or you don't take my daughter away," an old man told a group gathered outside his homestead in Sironko, eastern Uganda. After a lot of haggling, the two parties agreed that the groom pays in installments. A shy, 15-year-old girl was brought out of a hut and handed over to a 60-year-old man who already had three wives, 17 children, and six grandchildren.

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This case was first heard in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, in 2004 at...

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