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Women in South Africa to marry as many men as they want

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Wedding rings. PHOTO/COURTESY

Women in South Africa will be allowed to marry as many men as they wish if a policy by the Ministry of Home Affairs in adopted.

This is in bid to create equality between men and women in the country where men are allowed to marry more than one wife and women restricted to one man.

In the policy, the Department of Home Affairs’ is calling for legal recognition of polyandry as a form of marriage. Polyandry is a form of polygamy in which a woman has more than one husband.

The department which has also put forward proposals to recognize Hindu, Jewish, Muslim, and Rastafarian marriages has termed the the current marriage act is discriminatory and does not promote equality.

Locals have welcomed the move and termed it a move in the right direction and have urged greater advocacy towards polygamy.

Media reports in South Africa say the proposal is already under consideration by President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government.

Generally, there are two main forms of marriage.

1. Monogamy

This is a form of marriage where a man is married to one woman at a time. This is the only universally recognized form of marriage and parties can only remarry upon death or divorce.

2. Polygamy

This is where an individual has more than one marriage partner. Under polygamy there are three basic form namely; Polygyny (having more than one wife at a time), Polyandry (woman having more than one husband) and Group Marriage (several or many men marry to several or many women).


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