Author`s name Ольга Савка

Chechen women furiously reject suggestion on polygamous family

Ramzan Kadyrov, 29, the Acting Prime Minister of Chechnya, believes that Chechen men should have four wives

Acting chairman of the Chechen government, Ramzan Kadyrov, stated in one of his recent interviews with a Moscow radio station that polygamy could bring the demographic situation in the republic back to normal. “Statistically, women outnumber men in Chechnya because of the ongoing war. Polygamy could be an extremely important factor for the Chechen nation. Shariat laws allow that. That is why every man who can maintain such large families should have four wives. I can only welcome this idea,” the acting prime minister of Chechnya said. Polygamy

Ramzan Kadyrov will turn 29 on October 5. He is married and has five children: four girls and one boy. The son was born at the end of the past year outside Chechnya. Wealthy Chechen men prefer to send their wives to respectable and expensive hospitals outside the war-torn republic.

Mr. Kadyrov has only one wife with whom he has been living for about ten years. “She is my very special someone, she is the only one,” Kadyrov said in an interview. Nevertheless, the young Chechen politician advocates polygamy. The acting prime minister believes that polygamy will help many Chechen widows find new families. The official does not think it would be necessary to change the Chechen laws: “It is up for people to decide under which family arrangements they will live. I am sure that we will not interfere into private life,” said he.

Not all Chechen women share such an opinion, though. The majority of them would like to be “the only woman” for their only man, “a very special someone,” like Mr. Kadyrov said. Polygamy has never been a tradition in Chechnya even when it was ruled by the Shariat law. For example, Aslan Maskhadov, the former leader of Chechen terrorists killed by the federal troops in 2005, and Shamil Basayev, the elusive Chechen terrorist No.1, have only one wife.

A contemporary Chechen female is a literate and progressive person. There is quite a number of women in the structure of Chechen authorities, both regional and republican. It seems very unlikely that some of them may wish to become one of the four wives in a polygamous household.

The Russian laws do not support polygamy either. Chapter 14 of the Russian Family Code clearly says that a person will not be allowed to conclude marriage if he or she are officially married already.

The Supreme Mufti of the Central Spiritual Directorate of Russian Muslims, Talgat Tadjuddin, supported Ramzan Kadyrov's suggestion on polygamy. “It could help us stabilize the society. This measure will also give financial support and father's care to extramarital children which many Russian men have nowadays,” the mufti said.

The issue of polygamy has been raised in Russia on many occasions. Notorious Russian politician Vladimir Zhirinovsky put forward the idea of polygamous families back in 2000. The leader of the Liberal and Democratic Party of Russia (LDPR) said that Russian men could conclude another marriage without divorce.

In addition to absurd legal aspects, which Mr. Kadyrov's suggestions on polygamy contain, the acting head of the Chechen government misses another important factor. Ramzan Kadyrov believes that once a man is married to four women, he will guarantee financial and social security to his unconventional family. However, up to 314,000 people are officially registered as unemployed in Chechnya. It is one-third of the republic's entire population and about 50 percent of all able-bodied men and women.

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