1 Mar 2013

PNG NGO supports planned law to curb polygamy

11:33 am on 1 March 2013

A non-government organisation in Papua New Guinea supports a law being introduced in a bid to reduce polygamy because of its detrimental impact on some families.

Eastern Highlands Family Voice works for communities to free them from violence.

Its director, John Ericho, says traditionally it used to be just a select few leaders who could take on more than one wife, to ensure cohesion as a clan group, particularly in rural areas.

But now he says polygamous relationships are common given today's cash economy, with many more men having status, resources and money.

"It's coming into this time and age when education and cash has allowed people to become people with substance, and that has attracted this polygamist relations. And not necessarily traditional leaders are polygamists now, everybody is with some kind of education and some kind of resource base, is becoming polygamists."

John Ericho says sadly HIV also tends to be more prevalent within polygamous families.