So maybe it’s a fact of culture.” What do they lie about? Women, in contrast, must take their claims for divorce to court.” Some well-off men in Dakar still have consensual polygamous marriages with wives living together or in separate houses.
“Mostly,” Amina explained, “about relationships.” She became quite serious and said, “Most Senegalese are Muslim and Islam says you can have four wives but there are conditions. The 2005 Demographic and Health Survey for Senegal stated that half of Senegalese marriages were polygamous.
I even asked a group of four guys if Senegalese men are liars and they said that the ones who don’t lie are the exceptions. Obviously not all Senegalese men lie, but still, so many people repeated this to me, I started to wonder where the belief came from.
I would like to share information focused on the positive aspects of life with these men and information we can use to make these relationships work.
They have problem to be in front of you and tell you the truth. they treat you like a European or American, a Western person. They can be with you and years after they go and marry another wife and you are the last person to know.” “So they set up a whole new wife in secret? She told me they can legally marry a second, third, or even a fourth wife without permission from their first. It’s sometimes they say, no I don’t do that, I will never take another one.
You go straight to the subject and they don’t appreciate it. One caveat: when they get married, the first time they must sign a document for monogamy or polygamy. But, you know, then they do.” According to the 2010 USAID Senegal Gender Assessment, “Men are permitted to unilaterally divorce their wives under a Muslim tradition of ‘talaq’ and have stronger rights to children after a divorce.
“It’s not good when it’s in secret but I have nothing against it if you can afford to treat them all equally.
The women are culturally accustomed to it;” Yusuf told me, “even educated girls want it because it means less housework for them and more freedom time.” I heard this from Amina too: “Out in the countryside you can find women that pray to have a So they can rest!
But if you follow the conditions, you will never take a second wife. But the trend has decreased in the last ten years especially in Dakar.