Nigerian women submit request to change marriage customs

Sept. 28, 2013 at 12:13 PM

GUSAU, Nigeria, Sept. 28 (UPI) -- Women in Nigeria's Zamfara state have submitted a petition asking the government to change laws they say make marriage too expensive for women.

In Zamfara, brides-to-be traditionally provide furniture for their marital homes, but the petition says this is too expensive for many women seeking husbands, the BBC reported.

"Many of us cannot afford two meals in a day because there are no men to support us," the women said at a march in Gusau city Thursday before handing over the petition.

The petition was submitted to religious police in Zamfara, which is partly governed by Islamic law.

Abdullahi Muhammad Shinkafi, the commissioner of religious affairs for Zamfara, told the BBC the petition is being considered.

"What the widows are after is to get married ... and in Nigeria in particular, there are a lot of traditions that are money-demanding in the process of getting married," Shinkafi said. "That is why they marched and are seeking for the government's attention."

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