To embrace or not to embrace polygamy

Editor, In fact polygamy (concurrent marriage to more than one spouse) is a generic term that encompasses both polygyny (the more frequent case of a man married to more than one woman at a time), and polyandry (the lesser known but actually frequent case in some cultures of a woman being married to many men concurrently).

Editor,

REFERENCE IS made to Sunny Ntayombya’s article, “You want another wife? Allow her another husband” (The New Times, March 26).

In fact polygamy (concurrent marriage to more than one spouse) is a generic term that encompasses both polygyny (the more frequent case of a man married to more than one woman at a time), and polyandry (the lesser known but actually frequent case in some cultures of a woman being married to many men concurrently).

Polygamy, whether by men or women, is in my view extremely anachronistic in today’s world, and it is a pity that our brothers in Kenya should give it legal license. It is, in my view, fundamentally contradictory to many of our national constitutions’ equality provisions between men and women.

What men who support it imply is that their daughters are less than their sons or other people’s sons who may eventually get married to those daughters. If you are okay with that inequality for your daughter(s), then go for it. But if not, then how do you justify a law that inherently makes girls of less value than boys?

As a man, but more especially as a human being, more so as an African whose ancestors have been discriminated against and whose black brothers and sisters continue to be so across the world, I find such laws by African legislatures totally retrograde and incomprehensible.

Mwene Kalinda, Rwanda

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I LIKE Mr Ntayombya’s point, but not entirely. Here is where we couldn’t meet; in my opinion if this bill is effective, then there’s injustice embedded in it. Women should be given same rights and not mere information that the man is bringing in another wife. 

I also didn’t like Mr Ntayombya’s advocacy for the gay community. He mixed up things here. I suggest he corrects this in his next column.

Claude Mulisa, Rwanda

 

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