Is marriage common in Africa?

In Africa the institution of marriage varies as widely as the many thousands of ETHNIC GROUPS and cultures. … Polygamy is common in much of sub-Saharan Africa, and it is the privilege of men, not of women.

Why do people get married in Africa?

Africa has a population of over 1.2 billion people spread throughout 52 countries. … Many African communities believe marriage is primarily about procreation and providing for children as this is seen as the foundation of society. They are often encouraged against marrying for love or sexual attraction.

Is marriage important in Africa?

Marriage occupies an important position in the affairs of Africans, especially in the past. Without marriage, there is no family, and without a family, one could not bear children.

How many wives can you have in Africa?

In most West African countries, polygamy is also recognised and regulated by the civil law that allows a man to marry up to four women under certain conditions, including the financial capacity to support multiple wives and families. In practice, a polygamous union is in most cases limited to two women per couple.

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What age do African girls marry?

Related Content. In sub-Saharan Africa, a staggering 40 percent of girls marry before age 18, and African countries account for 15 of the 20 countries with the highest rates of child marriage.

Who pays for the wedding in Africa?

Uganda’s top court has ruled that “bride price”, when a man pays his future wife’s family for her hand in marriage, is legal.

How common is child marriage in Africa?

Average prevalence across the region remains high: about 41 per cent of girls marry before reaching the age of 18. Rapid growth of the child population in African countries makes it increasingly urgent that countries accelerate their efforts to address child marriage.

How does marriage in Africa work?

African marriage systems do share several characteristics. They almost always involve the transfer of bridewealth—cash, goods, or services—from the groom or his family to the bride’s family. This exchange is both real and symbolic, as it marks the woman’s passage from one social group to the other.

What are the types of marriage in Africa?

The five types (from highest marital satisfaction to lowest) were labeled as vitalized, harmonious, traditional, conflicted, and devitalized.

Why do Africans have two weddings?

Marriage in African traditions is a union between two families, not just two individuals. That’s why an engagement ceremony, which is often also a dowry (bride price) payment ceremony, is very important. Those ceremonies bring together the whole family, and allow each side to get to know each other.

United States: Polygamy is illegal in all 50 states however in Utah, in February 2020, the law was significantly changed in the House and Senate to reduce polygamy to the status of a traffic ticket.

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Where is polygamy most common in Africa?

Polygamy is most concentrated in West Africa, though it is by no means limited there. Polygamy in the data is largely bigamy – 72% of respondents report that they are the only wife, 19% report that their husband has two wives, 7% report that he has three wives, and fewer than 2% report that he has 4 wives or more.

What is bride price in Africa?

“I don’t view the Bride Price as me being paid for… Geoffrey can’t afford me,” says Angela, a British-born Ghanaian describing a family tradition common across Sub-Saharan Africa. … Bride Price is when the family of the groom pay their future in-laws at the start of their marriage.

Which country has the highest child marriage?

Niger has the highest overall prevalence of child marriage in the world.


Country Without parental or judicial consent With parental consent
Male Female
Angola 18 15
Benin 18
Botswana 21 18

In Niger, family law has several sources: the Civil Code, customs and international legal instruments. The Civil Code sets the minimum age of marriage at 18 years for boys and 15 years for girls, but the majority of unions take place under customary law.

Hai Afrika!