Eritrea, the Grand Mufti, the highest religious authority in the country, declared that every man must marry two women or face a jail sentence. The declaration was leaked last Thursday on several social media platforms.
The Eritrean government will compensate Eritrean men for the marriage ceremonies and houses.
The declaration is motivated in part by the shortage of men which is a byproduct of the Eritrean-Ethiopian War which took placed from 1998-2000. The war left 150,000 Eritrean soldiers dead out of a population of only 4 million.
The statement referenced harsh punishments for refusal of the new decree.
“First that every man shall marry at least two women and the man who refuses to do so shall be subjected to life imprisonment with hard labour.
“The woman who tries to prevent her husband from marrying another wife shall be punished with life imprisonment,” the statement read in part.