This new pronouncement by the Swaziland King is a return to the dark ages. Are women still sex objects and should marriage be the symbol for social acceptance?
King Mswati III of eSwatini has without mincing words stated that men will be required to marry at least two or more wives or be jailed if they fail to do so starting in June 2019. The king, who has 15 wives and 25 children, and his father and predecessor having more than 70 wives and 150+ children revealed that eSwatini is facing a very serious problem as there are more women than men in his country – husband scarcity.
Marriage is seen as a symbol of pride in many African cultures, where increase in population has had significant impact on poverty levels and economic growth. This new directive is a step back in time. The king believes taking more wives will help women get husbands. Women are still regarded as sex objects meant only for procreation in many cultures and getting married is the ultimate for social acceptance.
The country which is known to be full of virgins, is also said to have more women than men. Polygamy has caused considerable amount of instability in many homes where it is being practiced. Strife, violence, rejection and poverty prevail through this tradition, while the young ones are deprived of education. All these have backgrounded its intended function of communal fraternity. Here’s the deal, marry at least five wives and you’re assured that the government will pay for the marriage ceremonies and buy houses for them.
King Mswati warned that any man or woman who opposes the decision “will face a life sentence”.
Credit: African Exponent.