Ugandan men no longer fancy having more than one wife – report shows

Kampala, (UG): A new report released by the government has revealed that the number of Ugandan men choosing to marry more than one wife is declining with many no longer fancying the desire to have multiple wives.

The report, titled the Uganda Demographic Health Survey 2022, released by the Uganda Bureau of Statistics in conjunction with the Health Ministry indicates that the percentage of men with multiple wives greatly reduced from 18% in 2000-01 to 17% in 2022.

Over the same time frame, the report also indicates that the percentage of women in polygynous unions (having co-wives) has also decreased from 29% in 2000-01 to 23% in 2022.

Furthermore, the report also revealed that one in four women (23%) reported that their husband or partner had other wives and the percentage of men who reported multiple wives (17%) was less than that of women (6%), according to the report.

“Among women reporting to have co-wives, 25% live in rural areas while 20% live in urban areas. The percentage of women with co-wives is high among women aged 35-39, 40-44 and 45-49 at 32%, respectively,” the report released last week on Thursday, March 07, at Mestil Hotel in Kampala states in part.

The number of Ugandans aged between the ages 15-49 who reported being married or in cohabitation currently stands at 61% for women and 54% for men, while 3% of women and 1% of men between 45 and 49 have never been married.

“Eleven per cent of women and six per cent of men were separated and only three per cent of women and less than one per cent (0.2 per cent) of men are widowed,” the report indicates. 

At age 15-19 years, the report says the proportion of women who reported being in any union was higher than that of men by 16% (17% versus 1%). This is attributed to early marriage increases the risk of teenage pregnancy, which can have a profound on the health and lives of young women and contribute to the country’s high fertility rate”.

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On the other hand, the percentage of women married or living together has declined from 63% in 2011 to 61% in 2022, which implies that there are now more women opting out of marriage or are widowed than there were 10 years ago.

According to the report, the median age at first marriage is 18.8 years among women aged 25-49 and 24.8 years among men of the same age.

“Forty-two per cent of women aged 25-49 marry before their eighteenth birthday compared to 13% of men aged 25-49 that marry young,” the report revealed, adding that educated women marry much later.

The median age is the age at the midpoint of the population. Currently, the median age for Uganda stands at 16.5 years. 

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The report noted that there is a five-year difference in the median age at first marriage between women aged 25-49 with no education (19.7 years) and more than secondary education (24.6 years).

As first reported by NewVision

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