In Eritrea the Grand Mufti, the highest religious authority in the country, declared that every man must marry two women or face a jail sentence.
This was contained in a statement in Arabic by the Grand Mufti (the highest official of religious law in the country) which scanned copy surfaced on social media sites on Thursday last week.
The Eritrean government says they will compensate Eritrean men for the marriage ceremonies and houses.
The declaration is motivated in part by the shortage of men which is a byproduct of the Eritrean-Ethiopian War which took placed from 1998-2000. The war left 150,000 Eritrean soldiers dead out of a population of only 4 million.
A translation of the statement states:
“Based on the law of God in polygamy, and given the circumstances in which the country is experiencing in terms of men shortage, the Eritrean department of Religious Affairs has decided on the following .”
First that every man shall marry at least two women and the man who refuses to do so shall be subjected to life imprisonment with hard labour. “The woman who tries to prevent her husband from marrying another wife shall be punished to life imprisonment,” alleges the activists in their translation.
May 1998 to June 2000 Eritrean-Ethiopian war saw 150,000 soldiers killed from either sides but having a bigger impact on male population in the tiny Eritrea nation who were then just 4million people in total.