Niger Outlaws Slavery Custom Known As Fifth Wives

Niger’s highest court has struck down the practice of maids and sex slaves forced to be what is know as “fifth wives.” The Niger Court of Appeals ruled the marriages invalid and the custom illegal after a 10-year court battle fought by a victim or former “fifth wife.”

The woman, Hadizatou Mani, escaped from her master a decade ago and remarried, only to be sued by her former master for bigamy. The Niger court ruled in her master’s favor but she appealed the decision to the Niger Court of Appeals. After being bought at 12 years-old for $418 and serving as a sex slave for nine years, Mani took her case to West Africa’s Economic Community of West Africa States Court or ECOWAS, where in 2008 it was ruled that Niger had neglected to protect her from slavery.

“It will set a precedent for future cases,” said Mani’s Lawyer, Abdourahaman Chaibou. “It’s a victory for the defense of human rights and especially the fight against slavery.” According to the Walk Free Foundation’s 2018 Global Slavery Index, there are more than 130,000 slaves in Niger.

Click here for more on the Walk Free Foundation.

The Realist Woman’s take:

I knew nothing about fifth wives before this story but now that I do, I’m glad Niger has made this practice illegal. This is modern day slavery and this isn’t the only county where this is happening. Sex trafficking happens all over the world, including right here in the United States. This country knows a thing or two about slavery as it was built by but obviously not for slaves.

Great for Niger. Many of these African countries have work to do in creating laws that protect people and implementing them. Fingers crossed that these laws start to crack down on the bastards complicit in this sick travesty.