Polygamy in Benin

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The nation of Benin recognizes polygamous marriages neither by civil law nor by customary law. Polygamy was permitted until 2004 when it was formally abolished.[1] After the intake of the current constitution, polygamous marriages were constitutionally banned in the country.[2] However, polygamous marriages contracted prior to the ban are still legally recognized by the government.[3]

The share of polygamous marriages in Benin is at 23.5% of all marriages. Polygamy is more common in rural areas compared to urban areas (27.4% versus 18.8%). [4] This share is the lowest in Littoral Department with 8.9% and the highest in Couffo Department with 40.0%.