(VIDEO) Nyumba Mboke the Kuria community women-to-women marriage fuelling Gender Based Violence


By MN Reporter

Among the Kuria community in Migori county, women can be married to women in a tradition called Nyumba Mboke.

Most often single mothers who have failed to get married to men or are still stuck in their parents’ home are most easy prey for these marriages.

Pauline Mohabe a victim of such set-up before seeking a divorce in Tanzania said first attempt to lure her failed, but she was duped.

The mother of three children, two girls and a boy, was staying at her parents’ home in Kuria West sub-county, Migori and the burden of feeding her children alone and stigma was too much.

Mohabe was circumcised at 12 years old and by 16 years old she got pregnant, dropped out of class five at Komomange Primary School.

With three children and still staying at home, the now 35 years old woman said getting a husband was hard either from Kuria men living in Kenya and Tanzania

When a neighbor told me there was a woman from across the border in Tanzania who was looking for a mother of three to four children to marry she first felt insulted and deep down knew she had hit rock bottom.

At least a Sh 20,000 dowry was paid.

Maria Boke activist still married under the customary marriage on November 27, 1992 at 16 years old after getting pregnant at home said 20 cows were paid as dowry.

 “You have to give children to the woman to justify the dowry, so men will be giving birth to children they are not culturally attached to and can’t offer support in their growth either in medication and education,” Boke said.

Ricky Samuel, officer at Network for Adolescent and Youth Africa (NAYA) which works to uphold gender rights in Kuria said as the world celebrates 16 days of Gender Activism they have been working on those left behind.

Kehancha Police Station deputy OCS Agatha Wekesa who is the secretary of the joint committee said the cross border task force has helped to end FGM and detrimental culture like Nyumba Mboke abuse.