Straight women in Tanzania are marrying each other and even sharing beds in order to keep their houses in the absence of husbands, according to reports.
Under the tradition, a woman is permitted to marry a younger woman if she is widowed or her husband chooses to leave her. This means she can keep the family home which is jointly owned with the younger woman, despite a tribal law which dictates that only males can normally inherit property.
According to an 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, this reduces “the risk of domestic abuse, child marriage, and female genital mutilation.”
For these reasons alone, the arrangement has been a happy one since 2015.