South Africa to consider new marriage law that will allow women marry more than one man

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The South African Department of Home Affairs has proposed a new law that allows women to marry more than one husband – what is known as polyandry.

Moving according to what we have gathered is to promote equality and make it on a par with polygamy, which sees a man marry more than one woman.




The policy document highlighted that the current marriage law is discriminatory as it does not recognize Hindu, Jewish, Muslim and Rastafari marriages. The policy document also called for the legal recognition of polyandry as a form of marriage.

The Green Paper proposed three new marriage regulations to achieve equality in marriage laws. One of these options is a gender-neutral marriage system.

It reads;

This would accommodate both polygamy and polyandry

… Therefore, all marriages, whether monogamous or polygamous, can be concluded, regardless of the gender or sexual orientation of the person. ”




The South African Department of Home Affairs appears to favor the option of a gender-neutral marriage system that allows for polyandry and polygamy. The ministry wrote:

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“The country’s political will to meet the challenges of the current marriage law will be tested through these options. However, if Section 9 of the constitution is fully implemented, Option 3 will tick all the boxes.”

However, the ministry indicated that the option of polyandry had upset the feathers and that traditional leaders in South Africa vehemently opposed the proposal, claiming that a woman marrying more than one husband was “an unacceptable practice because she is not of African descent.”

She added;

“Ironically, stakeholders who believed in the practice of polygamy … have opposed the practice of polygamy.

“This is the beginning of a critical public speech that will redefine the concept of marriage in South Africa.




“The process will uncover issues that may make some of us uncomfortable, but it will encourage dialogue within the South African and international communities.”

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