Polygamy in africa

Category : Polygamy in africa

Polygamy has declined in the last decade but remains common in West Africa. In most West African countries, polygamy is also recognised and regulated by the civil law that allows a man to marry up to four women under certain conditions, including the financial capacity to support multiple wives and families.

In practice, a polygamous union is in most cases limited to two women per couple. Other countries such as Burkina Faso or Togo recognise polygamous unions under modern civil law, but allow couples or men Chad, Mali and Senegal to choose between a monogamous or polygamous union. In Nigeria, multiple marital regimes operate in parallel.

While civil law formally prohibits polygamy, the 12 northern states that are governed under Islamic Sharia law recognise polygamous marriages.

If the vote on the new civil code is confirmed, Guinea will become the latest African country to legalise polygamy following Kenya in The legal status of a married woman can help protect her and allow her access to certain rights. Traditionally more prevalent in rural areas, polygamy has also adapted to the urban and educated environment. These maps are without prejudice to the status of or sovereignty over any territory, to the delimitation of international frontiers and boundaries and to the name of any territory, city or area.

We encourage the use of our maps. Skip to main content. Polygamy remains common and mostly legal in West Africa. Burkina Faso. Cabo Verde.

African polygamy: Past and present

Sierra Leone. Post date:. The Netherlands. European Union.Polygamy is legal under certain circumstances in South Africa.

"The Practice of and Reasons for Polygamy"

All polygamous marriages entered into in accordance with the provisions of the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act are legal. The husband in an existing customary marriage wishing to marry a second wife must apply to a competent court for such a marriage to be legal.

Hence former President Jacob Zuma currently has four legally-recognised wives. The court considers the interests of all parties to the marriage and may add whatever conditions the court deems just for the polygamous marriage to be valid under customary law. A person married under the Civil Union Act which allows same-sex couples to marry, may not enter into marriage with a second partner until the existing marriage is dissolved.

Therefore only men are allowed to marry more than one spouse of the opposite sex at the same time. South African traditionalists have been well known to practice polygamy and the topic has been a serious political issue in the past several years, especially in the elections.

Jacob Zumathe former president of South Africa, is a self-proclaimed polygamist. He has been married five times, and is currently married to four different women. He has reportedly fathered 20 children among his wives and mistresses. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Sahrawi Arab Democratic Republic Somaliland. Polygamous marriage by country. Iraq 1 Nigeria 2 Palestine Syria 1. Australia New Zealand United Kingdom ; welfare only. Legal status Polygamy Polygyny Polyandry Non-monogamy Polygamy by country Marriage practice by country 1 Kurdish-controlled areas criminalize polygamy 2 Regions governed by Sharia. Hidden categories: All articles with failed verification Articles with failed verification from May Namespaces Article Talk.

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By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.She winced as she recalled his confession days later of being involved with a student. She is not alone. Millions of women across sub-Saharan Africa are still living in the complex relationships of polygamy, a centuries-old practice once the norm among African men seeking large families to cultivate the land.

According to the United Nations, which opposes the practice, polygamy was legal or generally accepted in 33 countries, 25 of them in Africa, as of A panel of judges last month rejected a petition to have polygamy declared unconstitutional in Uganda, where it is permissible for Muslims and those in customary marriages sealed with the traditional payment of bride price but not for those seeking Christian or civil unions.

In South Africa, where former president Jacob Zuma has four wives, polygamy has long been legal under customary arrangements.

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And Tanzanian President John Magufuli actively encourages polygamy, citing the 10 million more women than men in his country. Polygamy is still rampant in many countries in the Horn of Africa and East Africa even as the practice loses popularity in Muslim-majority communities of North Africa, said Hala al-Karib, a Sudanese activist who runs the Strategic Initiative for Women in the Horn of Africa, a network of civil society groups.

Polygamy in Ghana

Polygamy is cited in half of the 2, to 3, cases of domestic violence handled by the organization each year, said Patrick Ndira, its deputy executive director.

Yusuf Nsibambi with the Uganda Muslim Lawyers Association said the group would oppose any legal challenge to polygamy by asserting religious rights as Muslims. They are hiding behind Islam. Atenyo, who recently discovered the potential third wife, said she felt compelled to confront her rival but their phone conversation ended abruptly when the other woman said she needed the money too.

Sometimes I wonder if I am not beautiful. But how can I be beautiful when I spend hours under the scorching sun vending on the streets?

She worries that her husband, a Christian man, will one day abandon the family altogether as he seeks younger brides. His second wife recently left temporarily while citing neglect, Atenyo said. In this photo taken Saturday, Oct. Millions of women across sub-Saharan Africa are still living in the complex relationships of polygamy, a centuries-old practice that once was the norm among African men seeking large families to cultivate land.

Connect with the definitive source for global and local news. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.The Perspective Atlanta, Georgia. Moreover, we need to correct a common mistake in referring to polygyny as polygamy.

polygamy in africa

Polygamy is the practice of having more than one wife or husband at one time. Whereas polygyny is the practice of one man having more than one wife at one time. Polygyny is the form of marriage practiced in Africa not polygamy. Having made this correction, permit me to ask why most Westerners and their westernized African counterparts considered polygyny a bad institution of marriage? Why do they condemned it? I can only conclude that they do so out of ignorance, especially, women.

I believe it is done from the point of view of it being exploitative to women. Furthermore, most of those who do so, do it without making any effort to find out how the practice came about.

They refused to see how "cultural relativity" is applicable to polygyny. I consider their refusal to do so as "academic hypocrisy. However, before we begin to probe into the origin of polygyny, we need to know the role culture plays in a given society. In order to do so, let's look at the explanation provided by Professor Ali A. According to Mazrui:. Culture provides lenses of perception, the way of looking at reality, a world view; culture provides standards of evaluation; what is good and what is evil; what is legitimate and what is illegitimate are rooted in criteria provided by culture.

Culture conditions motivations; what motivates individuals to act or refrain from acting, what inspires individuals to perform well or to really exert themselves, is partly inspired by cultural factors. Culture is the medium of communication; the communicative aspects of culture range from language in the literal sense to physical gestures and modes of dress. Culture provides a basis of stratification, a pecking order in society.

Status, rank and class are partly the outcome of a cultural order.This week, wearing leopard skins and carrying a Zulu shield, South Africa's President, Jacob Zuma, 67, married his fifth wife in a traditional ceremony at his remote homestead in KwaZulu-Natal.

His first wife, whom he married inwas there to see him wed a woman 30 years his junior. His second wife stayed home to prepare the reception.

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He had two other wives but he divorced one in and another committed suicide in And he has not finished yet. Critics say polygamy does not fit the image of a modern society. And they wonder how he can afford 19 children on a state salary. But Zuma's respect for tradition is endearing to many rural South Africans. They say it is more honest than hiding his mistresses and illegitimate children like Western politicians. And they say polygamy is a right enshrined in South Africa's constitution.

Having more than one husband or wife, though technically when there are more women to one man that is properly called polygyny.

When a woman has more than one husband that is polyandry. It takes many forms across the globe. In some cultures one wife is shared by brothers. In others a father and son have a common wife. In others a man has many wives — up to 11 in the Arsi region of Ethiopia.

In many a widow is inherited by her dead husband's brothers, father or even a son by another wife. In the University of Wisconsin surveyed more than a thousand societies. Of these just were monogamous. Some had occasional polygyny and in more it was quite common. Just four featured polyandry. Some anthropologists believe that polygamy has been the norm through human history. InNew Scientist magazine suggested that, until 10, years ago, most children had been sired by comparatively few men.

Variations in DNA, it said, showed that the distribution of X chromosomes suggested that a few men seem to have had greater input into the gene pool than the rest. By contrast most women seemed to get to pass on their genes. Humans, like their primate forefathers, it said, were at least "mildly polygynous". Polygamy is very common in the animist and Muslim communities of West Africa. In Senegal, for example, nearly 47 per cent of marriages are said to feature multiple women.

It is relatively high still in many Arab nations; among the Bedouin population of Israel it stands at about 30 per cent.

Polygamy in Kenya - African Slum Journal

According to The Salt Lake Tribune as many as 10, Mormon fundamentalists in lived in polygamous families. No one knows. But there are clues. It is most common in places where pre-colonial economic activity centred around subsistence farming which requires lots of manpower, Africa being a prime example. High levels of infant mortality may be a factor; when many children do not survive past the age of five a family needs more than one child-bearer to be economically viable.

Then there is war. When a lot of men die, having more than one wife boosts the population most swiftly.

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The more wives a man had the more military and political alliances he could forge.Canadian spelling is used in this report. This report studies polygyny one man married to multiple wives as practiced in Asian, Middle Eastern and African countries. Some of the observations may be similar to that found within Fundamentalist Mormon U.

However, these observations are unlikely to be replicated in egalitarian polygamous marriages in Western countries. Polygamy was permitted in most parts of the world at one time, but there has been a move away from the practice. Anthropologists suggest that the reasons for, or functions of, polygamy include the following. Polygamy is also commonly found in closed cultures where open displays of courtship and affection are shunned.

As well, polygamy has historically been used in place of divorce in countries with limited grounds for divorce and high thresholds for proving those grounds Marasinghe Social scientists have given various theoretical explanations for the practice of polygamy. They argued that monogamy is the result of a compromise among men usually following democratic development, whereby the wealthy, powerful men surrender polygamous practices and multiple wives in exchange for political support from poor men.

The male compromise theory is based on Richard Alexander's theory that nation-states impose monogamy on their male citizens to equalize their reproductive opportunities. Where resource inequalities are great among men, women will choose to marry polygamously.

Where inequalities are comparatively low, women will chose to marry monogamously. This theory is female-empowering and functional. It recognizes polygamy or monogamy as rational choices to be made in accordance with social determinants, such as resource inequality.

However, it has been criticized for failing to account for the political reality that undermines this choice. In addition, the politics of inequity underlying the practice of polygamy where there are child brides, for example are often misattributed to the institution of polygamy.

polygamy in africa

Sanderson argued that polygamy is really about male choice and preference for sexual variety to ensure male reproductive success. The extent of the opportunity to seek sexual variety may vary, however, with social circumstances, such as the degree to which women are available and how costly they are as wives their economic value. High status males mate more often and leave more offspring, a pattern that is found widely throughout mammalian species. Sanderson embraced this socio-biological understanding of polygamy and supported Alexander's male compromise theory, 12 which relies on the idea of reproductive opportunity leveling.

According to Alexander, this socially imposed monogamy is a by-product of the large nation state. Sanderson drew on empirical data to support Alexander's theory. Michael Price's hypothesis that monogamy supports co-operation and, as a result, has spread from the West to other regions was tested by using five measures of societal success against contemporary nation-states, of which 84 are monogamous and 72 are polygamous.

Bretschneider suggested that polygamy is a multi-dimensional phenomenon.

polygamy in africa

He argued that it is not possible to isolate socio-cultural, economic, demographic or environmental conditions as singular causes. Rather, access and control over resources, as well as the mobility of women across borders, are significant influences. The research is not conclusive on the impact on children of growing up in polygamous families.

Inresearchers conducted a review of all quantitative and qualitative studies that had been done on the effect of polygamy on children's outcomes Elbedour et al. They found that children of actually polygamous marriages were at greater risk of experiencing marital conflict, family violence and family disruptions, marital distress, particularly that related to high levels of unhappiness of women in polygamous unions, absence of the father and financial stress.

However, some of the studies reviewed found that children, particularly older children in a family, demonstrated resilience in dealing with these risk factors. The researchers concluded that cultural factors play a role in determining the extent to which the risk factors associated with polygamy negatively affect children.

The researchers suggested that a culture in which polygamy is not only tolerated but valued, where the larger family size associated with polygamy is a signifier of social status, and where women are respected for their role in producing children, may help children deal better with the risk factors associated with polygamy.Polygamy in South Africa is not something that will shock Mzanzi people considering that even the highest in society engage in it.

After all, it is a practice that is accepted in customs and traditions of the people. While it may sound a bit strange in modern times, it is a practice that is ingrained in the hearts of certain men, especially those with the means to take care of more than one wife.

A polygamous relationship may not be everyone's cup of tea. Even so, there are those that can accommodate it. The big question is whether or not this kind of union is legal in South Africa.

The following are details you need to note about polygamous marriage in South Africa, at least before you get yourself into one. While polygamous unions are common in South Africa, the question remains what the marriage act South Africa directs.

This is a concern for most men as they do not want to leave any of their wives and children suffering because they do not enjoy the identity of a civil union. So what does the law say?

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The Recognition of Customary Marriages Act ofstates that polygamous unions are recognized under South African law. For such a union to be binding, it must abide by the customary marriage act and requirements.

These are:. Registering the customary union is necessary. This ensures that customary marriages are valid. Failing to register a customary union will however not invalidate it. However, if a second wife is married without the first having been registered, the first union will be invalidated. In case of a joint estate, the husband should apply to the high court for permission to enter into a polygamous union as a mandatory requirement.

He should also offer a written contract that states how the property in the unions will be regulated to protect or cover all the interests of the spouses involved. This is where civil marriage in South Africa comes in handy as it works as a protection of some sort. With the recognition of customary marriages act, it is important that the polygamous man takes care of his own family.

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Protecting his unions by registering them, regardless of how they married is necessary. Even with so much talk of polygamy, more often than not this kind of arrangement works in customary unions. These are traditional unions which happen based on the community's guidelines. Experts believe that customary marriages ought to be treated independently as there are no two unions that are similar.

polygamy in africa

There are two types of customary marriages namely the living and the official customary unions. Official customary law is in the legislation while living customary law comes through in every day practices and will differ from one community to the other. Either way customary unions must be entered into in terms of tradition.

To be married in community of property means that all assets and debts from before the union are to be shared in a joint estate between the two spouses.

The joint estate also applies to liabilities, assets and debts too.



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09.10.2020 at 10:12 pm

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