ERITREA just passed into law a bill that proposes to slam life imprisonment terms on men if they refuse to marry more than one wife, this is part of a program aimed at addressing the increasing gap between the country’s male and female population, in Eritrea of available women surpasses the number of available males.
Eritrea is in a peculiar situation having endured long wars, the country lost a lot of men on the battlefield, and now its female population outstrips that of the men. The government is Worried about the high number of single women that the society is now left to grapple with, this has prompted the country’s ruling authorities to act by enacting a law that now compels men to marry more wives.
The new decree which has been published by the country’s dictatorial government, men in Eritrea have no choice than to marry more than one wife or hauled to jail for life. The statement issued by the Eritrean government, mentions that men should marry at least two wives as a result of the acute shortfall of males occasioned by the high casualties the country suffered during it’s civil war against Ethiopia.
The law which was written in Arabic, also gives assurances that the government would provide financial support to the resulting polygamous marriages. The civil war with Ethiopia lasted between Early 1998 & June of 2000, the war saw a total of about 150,000 casualties, all soldiers from both sides, but this high death toll weighed heavier on the tiny East African country, which has a small population of about 4m people.
“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 any man who refuses to adhere to this shall be subjected to a jail term of life imprisonment with hard labor.
“Any woman who tries to prevent her husband from marrying another wife shall be punished with life imprisonment,” the government statement added.