Dealing with Polygamous Families and Changing the Rules

  • Alean Al-Krenawi


What’s next? This chapter discusses the need for change, to correct the existing problems. The Arab Spring of 2011 served as notice that there was discontent amongst the people of the Middle East. There have been many upheavals in the Arab countries. The entire region is now tasked with assessing, for example, how religion and other social ideals are to be embodied in people’s lives. Many revolutions have been spurred by poverty and inequalities that have persisted in the region; conditions which we have shown are exacerbated by polygamous marriages.

To counter polygamy requires longitudinal planning—a continuing commitment rather than a simple fix. While attempting to assist polygamous families here and now in culturally sensitive ways, we can also engage with the many institutions that influence the high-context person. A multilevel approach recognizes the individual within his or her social environment: the relationship within families and communities, the political, economic, educational, and social environment, and the ideologies that have influenced them.

The challenge of gender perceptions must be met in addition to a strong need for economic and educational support.

In short, these challenges, even when they argue against polygamy, are neither anti-Muslim nor anti-religion. Rather, they push for the decoupling of religious principles and traditional patriarchy and attempt to find allowances for equality and justice in universally acceptable terms. No one should be compelled to accept inferior forms of equality or status under the guise of religious principles, but should, instead, expect support from the community and government to which they contribute.


Saudi Arabia Middle East Arab Society Patriarchal Family Religious Principle 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Alean Al-Krenawi
    • 1
  1. 1.Ben Gurion University of the NegevBeer-ShevaIsrael

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