Women, children suffer in polygamous families

Letters, Normal

The National, Tuesday 12th February, 2013

I SUPPORT Julie Soso’s proposal to ban polygamy because it is outdated and women are now being abused in the name of polygamy by so-called educated people and misfits of society.
Polygamy has had a place in our tra­ditional society, where women livi­ng alone or with children are not
safe from danger, violence, threats and difficulties of that era.
Traditionally, in many parts of our country, it is usually the leaders who practise polygamy for the simple reason that they have the wealth and resources to maintain their wives.
With every new wife, they made sure she had her own house, garden and pigs to look after and there was respect among all the wives.
Today, every Tom, Dick and Harry wants to have a second wife.
This “big man” mentality is ma­-­king a mockery of ourselves even though we are not able to maintain these extra wives.
Just because one has a PMV, trade store or is employed in the city, he thinks he is a “big man”,
so he decides to take a second wife.
We now see lawyers, doctors, policemen, soldiers and clerks ha­ving more than one wife because their fathers, uncles or grandfathers back in the villages were polygamists.
The only difference is that the new generation of PNG polygamists keep all their wives and children under one roof.
What a shame as we are no better than animals behaving like this in front of our children.
Another concern about poly­gamy is that it deprives women and children of their basic rights to be loved by a husband and father.
Polygamy marriages indirectly produce widows and orphans be­cause the wife lives in solitude as if she is a widow.
This happens when a new wife is added, the husband spends more time with her than he does with the first wife.
Children also have to compete for their father’s attention and many grow up like orphans and are abused.

Big Man
Port Moresby