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Domestic Tensions, National AnxietiesGlobal Perspectives on Marriage, Crisis, and Nation$
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Kristin Celello and Hanan Kholoussy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780199856749

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199856749.001.0001

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Woman-to-Woman, Polyandrous, and Child Marriage

Woman-to-Woman, Polyandrous, and Child Marriage

Expressions and Contestations of Marriage Rights in Colonial and Independent Nigeria

Chapter:
(p.170) 9 Woman-to-Woman, Polyandrous, and Child Marriage
Source:
Domestic Tensions, National Anxieties
Author(s):

Nwando Achebe

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199856749.003.0010

This chapter explores a multiplicity of marriages that found expression and acceptance in precolonial Nigeria, such as woman-to-woman marriage, polyandry, and deity-to-human marriages, but which would be tested and forcibly challenged by the colonial and independent Nigerian state as heathenistic and unnatural. It centers the Nigerian state’s obsession with the private sexual and marriage rights of Nigerian citizens as a lens through which to view and evaluate its justification of the introduction and enactment of discriminatory legislation, which has led to gross human rights violations in Africa’s most populous nation. The chapter also considers the contradictions inherent in the state’s silence surrounding the religious “rights” of adult men to marry children in northern Nigeria. Case studies are drawn from eastern to northern Nigeria, and several localities in between.

Keywords:   woman-to-woman marriage, child marriage, polyandry, deity-to-human marriage, Nigeria, marriage rights

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