Why Are Straight Women in Tanzania Marrying One Another?

In "Why Straight Women Are Marrying Each Other," published in the August 2016 issue of Marie Claire, Abigail Haworth investigates the link to the rise of same-sex marriage in the Mara region of northern Tanzania, discovering "the empowering tribal tradition undergoing a modern revival."

Highlighting the lives of Mugosi Maningo and Anastasia Juma, two women from the Kurya tribe "married under a local tradition called nyumba ntobhu ("house of women")," the article shows the modern, feminist reasons for the tradition that began many years ago.

According to Haworth's interview with Tanzanian journalist Dinna Maningo, these arrangements give single women and widowers "more power and freedom," combining "all the benefits of a stable home with the ability to choose their own male sexual partners." In turn, Haworth adds, this reduces "the risk of domestic abuse, child marriage, and female genital mutilation."

For these reasons alone, the arrangement has been a happy one for Maningo and Juma since 2015.

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