14 Sep 2013 08:00
Photos and Text by Celeste Hibbert.
A long hedge passes through Peter’s land, separating his wives’s houses. Mary and Salome share many things like cooking, taking care of the same kids, and being married to the same man.
It is estimated that 8 percent of Kenyan women are currently in polygamous marriages. The numbers, however, are decreasing due to the increasing expenses of providing for two women. Moreover, Kenya’s law does not recognize polygamous unions between Christians, and excludes the second spouse from the husband’s inheritance.
Kenya’s Marriage Bill 2013 is working on legitimizing polygamy under customary law to legally protect the women and ensure they are treated equally by their spouse.
Kenyan women of poor status view polygamy as practical and, to them, “Money and security will always take precedent over monogamous love.”
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