Exploring countries where polygamy is legal

Welcome to our blog post on exploring countries where polygamy is legal! In this article, we’ll delve into the concept of polygamy and discuss the countries around the world where it is legally recognized. If you’re considering emigrating and practicing polygamy is important to you, this guide will provide valuable insights. So let’s dive in and discover which countries embrace this unique form of marriage!

Introduction To Polygamy

Polygamy, the practice of having multiple spouses simultaneously, is legal in several countries around the world. These countries include Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, India and Malawi. While polygamy remains controversial and is not recognized in many other nations due to concerns over gender equality and human rights violations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR), it continues to be a legally accepted practice in these select locations. Despite its legality, it is important for individuals considering emigrating to these countries to thoroughly understand the cultural implications and potential challenges that may accompany such a lifestyle choice.

What Is Polygamy?

Polygamy, the practice of having multiple spouses at the same time, is legal and holds cultural significance in various countries such as Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Liberia, Malawi, and Afghanistan.

In some countries like Algeria and Cameroon, polygamy is legal with specific regulations governing its practice. This may include obtaining permission from authorities or ensuring equitable treatment for all spouses. However, it’s important to note that not all countries allow polygamy; for instance, India prohibits it under The Indian Christian Marriage Act 1872 or The Special Marriage Act 1954. Additionally,the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) recognizes monogamous marriage as the prevailing norm internationally but doesn’t explicitly ban polygamy.

So if you’re looking to move to a country where polygamy is legal or part of the culture,you may want to consider exploring these nations mentioned above!

Different Types of Polygamy

Polygyny is a type of polygamy where one husband has multiple wives. This practice is legal in countries such as Afghanistan, Algeria, and Burkina Faso. On the other hand, polyandry involves one wife having multiple husbands. Although less common than polygyny, it is recognized as a legal form of marriage in certain countries like India and parts of Cameroon. Lastly, group marriage refers to a situation where there are multiple husbands and wives within the same union. While not legally recognized in many countries like Malawi and Liberia, this form of polygamy does exist in some communities around the world.

Controversies and Legalization

When it comes to the legalization of polygamy, ethical considerations play a significant role. Many argue that it goes against fundamental principles of equality and consent. Additionally, the challenges posed by societal norms and opposition within countries such as Algeria, India, and Liberia further complicate the push for legal recognition of polygamous unions. Despite these hurdles, proponents advocate for its legalization citing cultural relativism and personal freedom as their main arguments. This ongoing debate highlights the complexities surrounding polygamy in various countries worldwide including Burkina Faso and Cameroon where legal frameworks still need to be addressed under international human rights standards like ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights).

countries where polygamy is legal

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates are two countries where polygamy is legal. In Saudi Arabia, men can have up to four wives as long as they can treat them all equally. Similarly, in the UAE, polygamy is permitted with certain conditions such as obtaining permission from a court and ensuring equal treatment of all spouses. These countries provide options for individuals seeking to live in a society that recognizes and allows multiple marriages.

Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia has a rich cultural background that influences its acceptance of polygamy. Polygamy is legal in Saudi Arabia, with certain requirements to be met for multiple marriages. However, the practice of polygamy has had mixed effects on Saudi Arabian society, leading to both positive and negative consequences.

United Arab Emirates

Polygamy in Islamic Law: Polygamy is a practice that is permitted under Islamic law. It allows a man to have multiple wives, up to a maximum of four. This practice is based on the teachings of the Quran and has been followed by Muslims for centuries.

Polygamous Marriage Practices in the UAE:

  • The United Arab Emirates (UAE) is one of the countries where polygamy is legal.
  • Men can marry up to four women, as long as they can provide for all their wives equally.
  • Permission from existing wives and consent from an Islamic judge are required before entering into additional marriages.

Benefits and Challenges of Living in a Polygamous Relationship:

  • Benefits include companionship, shared responsibilities, and support within a larger family unit.
  • Challenges may arise due to jealousy, financial strain, time management issues, and maintaining harmony among multiple spouses.


Qatar is one of the countries where polygamy is legal, but it comes with certain conditions. From a religious perspective, Islam permits men to have up to four wives if they can treat them all equally. In Qatar, a man who wants to enter into a polygamous marriage must seek permission from the Shariah Court and provide valid reasons for doing so.

  • Religious perspectives on polygamy allow for up to four wives in Islam
  • Permission from the Shariah Court is required for entering into a polygamous marriage in Qatar

The #MeToo movement has had an influence on attitudes towards polygamy in Qatar as well. It has sparked conversations about consent and equality within relationships, leading some individuals to question the fairness of practicing multiple marriages. This shift reflects changing societal norms and highlights the ongoing evolution of views on this subject.

  • The #MeToo movement has influenced attitudes towards polygamy
  • Conversations sparked by #MeToo have led people to question its fairness


Bahrain, a small island nation in the Persian Gulf, has a complex perspective on multiple spouses. While traditional views accept polygamy as part of their culture and religion, modern perspectives emphasize monogamous relationships. The prevalence of polygamous relationships in Bahrain is influenced by economic factors such as income inequality and poverty rates. However, concerns arise regarding children’s rights and welfare in such arrangements.

  • Traditional values coexist with modern perspectives on multiple spouses
  • Economic factors play a role in the prevalence of polygamist relationships
  • Children’s rights and welfare are areas of concern


The Role of Religion: Sharia Law and Islamism

In Iraq, religion plays a significant role in shaping the legal system. Sharia law is a fundamental part of Iraqi society, governing various aspects such as family matters, inheritance, and personal conduct. This adherence to Islamic principles also influences the rise of Islamist ideologies within certain segments of the population.

Marriage Dynamics: Insights into Iraqi Culture


Iraqi culture places great emphasis on marriage as a cornerstone of society. Traditional customs and practices are still prevalent, with arranged marriages being common in many communities. However, there is an evolving trend towards allowing individuals more agency in choosing their partners.

Evolving Social Attitudes towards Gender Roles

Gender roles in Iraq have been traditionally defined by patriarchal norms where men hold dominant positions within families and society at large. However, social attitudes are gradually shifting as women strive for greater equality and empowerment through education and participation in public life. Despite progress made by women’s rights advocates, traditional gender roles continue to persist on various levels.


Yemen has a deeply ingrained cultural acceptance of polygamous marriages, with many men taking multiple wives. This practice is influenced by tribal traditions that prioritize lineage and family connections. Despite this, women’s rights activism is on the rise in Yemen, challenging these traditional norms and advocating for gender equality.


Afghan polygamy

Marrying more than one wife is legally permitted under Afghan family law, although it comes with certain conditions and responsibilities. In Afghanistan, socio-economic factors often play a significant role in the practice of polygamous marriages. The influence from neighboring countries, where polygamy is also allowed, further contributes to the prevalence of this marital arrangement in Afghanistan.


In conclusion, for individuals looking to emigrate to countries where polygamy is legal, it is important to consider various factors such as the role of religion, marriage dynamics, and evolving social attitudes towards gender roles. In countries like Iraq, where Sharia law and Islamic principles shape the legal system, polygamy is accepted but there is also a trend towards more individual agency in choosing partners. Yemen has a deeply ingrained cultural acceptance of polygamy, influenced by tribal traditions, but women’s rights activism is on the rise challenging these norms. In Afghanistan, polygamy is legally permitted and socio-economic factors contribute to its prevalence. It is essential to be aware of these cultural and legal dynamics when considering emigration to countries where polygamy is legal.

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