GUWAHATI: The Arunachal Pradesh Women’s Welfare Society (APWWS) has insisted that persons with multiple wives should not be allowed to contest elections in the state.
The APWWS also demanded that the state government bring in a legislation that will thwart the age-old practice of polygamy and adultery by people, including government employees.
Alleging that a section of rich and educated officers are indulging in polygamy, the women’s body said many families could be saved from distress if some strong legal measures were put in place against the menace.
In this regard, the APWWS submitted a memorandum to Arunachal Pradesh State Commission for Women (APSCW) urging it to ensure that no one in Arunachal can marry more than one woman.
The APSCW agreed that polygamy was ruining families in the tribal-majority state.
“It has been our position that a person with multiple wives should not be allowed to contest elections. As for government officers indulging in polygamy, we want the government to enforce some rules and take action against the violators,” APSCW chairperson Radhilu Chai Techi told this newspaper.
She said the Commission would soon take up the matter with the state government.
“We are asking for compulsory registration of marriages by the government. This will go against polygamy and child marriage to a great extent because if the first marriage is registered, the second wife will be viewed as the person’s mistress etc…
“We are also insisting on the reformation of customary practices. Whichever practices are against human rights and constitutional rights to equality, we want that to be banned,” Techi said.
She said the women’s commission would soon hold a seminar with NGOs and other stakeholders and submit a memorandum to the state government against polygamy.
Polygamy was there in most states of the Northeast until it got abolished there. Due to polygamy, there is a lot of domestic violence. Children too are affected. They suffer from mental problems and take to drugs easily, she added.