Rising Incomes, Multiple Wives

Qasim Mozan, a researcher in the social investigation department in the Iraqi newspaper Al-Sabah, told Al-Monitor, “The Eastern man sees his second wife as his mistress and he plays this role with her, whether the marriage is for a short term or long. No matter how courageous a man is, he remains weak in the face of Eastern women's stubbornness and conservatism and therefore seeks the oasis of freedom that he finds in a second wife.”

Mozan believes the “Eastern man suffers injustice in his relationship with his wife, and thus most of them resort to a secret wife.”

For his part, Majid al-Kallabi, a sheikh from the Kullabiya tribe, told Al-Monitor, “This phenomenon is due to the financial ability that makes polygamy possible. The social environment promotes the likelihood of a second or even a third marriage. This phenomenon is widely spread in rural and conservative communities with a low educational level, more than in cities and among the educated social classes.”

Kallabi believes that “polygamy promotes the dignity of women by protecting them with marriage and preventing them from falling into sin and having to live alone without a breadwinner.”

Feminist and rights activist Alia al-Kadi told Al-Monitor that the practice is “humiliating for women and an arbitrary behavior in a patriarchal society.”

(Polygamy image via Shutterstock)

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