Countries Where Women Can Marry More Than One Husband

Countries Where Women Can Marry More Than One Husband

Marriage customs have traditionally revolved around men marrying multiple wives, commonly known as polygyny. However, as societies strive for gender equality, a fascinating shift has taken place in certain regions. Surprisingly, there are countries where women have the legal right to marry more than one husband, a practice known as polyandry. According to an article by The Nation Newspaper, This article delves into some of the countries where this unique form of marriage is legally recognized, shedding light on the cultural, historical, and legal perspectives behind it.


Nestled in the heart of the Himalayas, Tibet boasts a rich cultural heritage that includes the practice of polyandry. Historically, polyandry emerged as a social and economic strategy to cope with limited resources and land scarcity. It ensured that family property remained intact, preventing its fragmentation. Additionally, polyandry played a crucial role in balancing population growth in regions where resources were scarce. Tibetan polyandrous marriages are based on fraternal polyandry, where brothers collectively marry a woman. This arrangement allows for the preservation of family wealth and fosters familial harmony.

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In Nepal, a land of diverse landscapes and ancient traditions, polyandry also finds its place. The practice, known as “fraternal polyandry,” traces its roots to remote mountainous regions. In this custom, brothers jointly marry a woman, and the children are considered the sons of the eldest brother. Fraternal polyandry in Nepal serves multiple purposes. It helps to maintain family cohesion, ensuring that the limited land resources are not divided. It also contributes to population control, addressing the challenges posed by overpopulation in regions with limited resources.

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In certain regions of India, such as the states of Himachal Pradesh, Ladakh, and parts of Rajasthan, polyandry has historical roots. In these areas, women can legally marry multiple husbands. Polyandrous marriages in India are often practiced to overcome issues related to land inheritance and family property division. By marrying multiple brothers, a woman can secure her position within the family and maintain the unity of family resources. These unions are typically based on the principle of fraternal polyandry.

Sri Lanka:

Although polyandry is not widespread in Sri Lanka, it is practiced among specific communities, such as the Tamil-speaking minority. Here, polyandry serves as a cultural and economic arrangement. It helps to preserve ancestral lands and prevent fragmentation. In such marriages, a woman may marry brothers or close relatives, contributing to the maintenance of family bonds and social harmony.

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As the world continues to evolve, the concept of marriage is undergoing transformation, with various countries recognizing the rights of women to marry multiple husbands. Polyandry, once seen as unconventional, is becoming more accepted in certain societies. Through exploring countries like Tibet, Nepal, India, and Sri Lanka, we gain insight into the historical, cultural, and legal aspects that have shaped polyandrous marriages. By embracing alternative marital arrangements, these nations pave the way for gender equality and challenge traditional norms surrounding marriage.

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