Polygamy as a dominant pattern of sexual pairing among the Acholi of Uganda
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Polygamy has of recent been a focus of attention of scholars, traditionalists, human rights activists and feminists. Whereas human rights activists and feminists regard polygamy as oppressive, discriminative and barbaric, traditionalists view it as an institution that serves the interests of all members of society equally. This research evaluates polygamy in the traditional Acholi society with a view to illustrate why it was dominant and whether the people perceived it as oppressive to women or not. I conducted Key informants’ interviews with married people, elders and traditional leaders among the Acholi and reviewed a host of literature on the subject of polygamy and gender equity. Polygamy was common in the traditional Acholi society. The view that polygamy is barbaric, oppressive and unconstitutional is recent and alien to the Acholi people. The study recommends that polygamy should be viewed from the perspective of the culture of the affected people.