The unofficial fifth wife

Two different types of slavery practiced in Niger, as identified by Anti-Slavery International, are Chattel slavery and Wahaya.

In a welcome development, Niger’s top law court has abolished the practice of “Wahaya”. Wahaya is in itself a unique form of slavery practiced all around the country. It involves the sale of young girls from Tuareg communities to wealthy and prominent Hausa individuals as an unofficial “fifth wife”.

There are two different types of slavery practised in Niger today as identified by Anti-Slavery International. They are the Chattel slavery, a seemingly less damning form of slavery where former slaves are forced to give some of their crops to a former master; and Wahaya.

Slavery is a living reality among virtually all ethnic groups. This is, according to a report by the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women in 2005. In recent years, communities of slave descent have moved to cut ties with their masters and attempt to establish independent villages.

Your Friends Also Read:  South African singer and anti-apartheid activist Johnny Clegg dies aged 66

The monumental ruling was based on the case of Hadizatou Mani, a woman who, after escaping forced slavery as a “fifth wife”, was taken to court by her former master who accused her of bigamy. Initially the court ruled in favour of her master but after an appeal by Mani, the Niger Court of Appeals ruled that her first marriage was never valid and that all “fifth wife” marriages are illegal.

“This win marks an end of a long legal fight that Anti-Slavery International, with partners, started over a decade ago. Together with our partners we will work to ensure a full implementation of this ruling. The fight is far from being won, but we’re in it for the long haul,” were the words of Jakub Sobik, from Anti-Slavery International.

Your Friends Also Read:  Top African musician DJ Arafat dies in road accident

All rights reserved. This material, and other digital content on this website, may not be reproduced, published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed in whole or in part without prior express written permission from News Central TV.



Leave a Reply

Previous Article

Political tension in Libya claims 32 lives

Next Article

Election season heralds Xenophobic attacks

Related Posts