South Africa faces backlash after considering allowing women to have multiple husbands


Published: 2021-06-29 15:03

Last Updated: 2022-06-27 21:20

Source: The Atlantic
Source: The Atlantic

South Africa's Department of Home Affairs proposed that women should be allowed to marry multiple husbands Monday.

The proposal comes as a part of a wider movement by the government to reform and modernize the country's Marriage Act, marking the most significant overhaul of marriage laws since white-minority rule ended 27 years ago.

The proposal caused a huge debate across South African social media over the legitimacy of polyandry.

Polygamy, wherein a man can have more than one wife, is legal in the country.

The prospect of allowing women multiple husbands has angered conservatives and several religious leaders.

The leader of the African Christian Democratic Party, Reverend Kenneth Meshoe, said if women are given the same rights as men, it would "destroy society."

A professor of theology, Collis Machoko, believes that the backlash arises from those "who are not ready for true equality," and those who object to changes do not know what to do with women they cannot control.

A member of the African National Congress, Aaron Motsoaledi, explained that the policy has not been made official yet. However, he encouraged healthy debates regarding the matter, without it becoming a war of words.