Support Global Voices

To stay independent, free, and sustainable, our community needs the help of friends and readers like you.

Donate now »

No, Eritrea Isn't Forcing Men to Marry at Least Two Wives

A traditional Eritrean wedding. Photo released under Creative Commons by Flickr user CharlesFred.

A traditional Eritrean wedding. Photo released under Creative Commons by Flickr user CharlesFred.

A fake story posted online alleging that the Eritrean government has passed a law forcing men to marry at least two wives or go to jail has prompted funny memes from Twitter users across Africa.

The story claims that the law was passed due to a shortage of men because of heavy casualties during the war with Ethiopia. The Eritrean–Ethiopian War took place from 1998 to 2000.

Sahara Reporters, a New York-based, Nigeria-focused news site, spoke with an Eritrean government representative at the Eritrean Mission at the United Nations in New York, who denied the rumor.

The website also spoke with Eritrean expert Awet Weldemichael, an assistant professor at Queen's University in Canada, who denied the story as well. Eritrean government officials have since refuted the story.

While it is not clear exactly where the story originated, many of the news sites that have published the hoax have yet to retract it.

Twitter users found fodder for memes in the hoax story. Here is a sample of hilarious tweets after the story appeared online:

1 comment

Join the conversation

Authors, please log in »


  • All comments are reviewed by a moderator. Do not submit your comment more than once or it may be identified as spam.
  • Please treat others with respect. Comments containing hate speech, obscenity, and personal attacks will not be approved.

Receive great stories from around the world directly in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the best of Global Voices!

Submitted addresses will be confirmed by email, and used only to keep you up to date about Global Voices and our mission. See our Privacy Policy for details.

Newsletter powered by Mailchimp (Privacy Policy and Terms).

* = required field
Email Frequency

No thanks, show me the site