Happy Ever After? The Marriage Market as a Source of Societal Instability

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Posted May 22, 2022 | GIGA Focus Africa. Renate Hartwig,

Having more men than women in the marriage market gives rise to competition amongst men, spurring frustration and anger among those that struggle to find a bride. The practice of polygamy has negative consequences for female empowerment, education, and health, and is an important determinant of the high population growth in sub-Saharan Africa, notes Renate Hartwig in her article for GIGA Focus Africa. Participation in the marriage market – looking for a spouse and forming a union – in SSA is constrained, and the marriage market perpetrates injustices and maintains inequality in income and opportunities. Governments must begin to recognise the existing inequalities and concentrate on (re-)establishing a basic social contract between the communities and those “deprived” of brides.



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