MOST places in the Highlands area of Papua New Guinea are battling hard to maintain the two-plus wives tradition: a norm people liked having within their societies.
Of the many cultural norms and practices, polygamy plays a pivotal role in Highlands societies. The tradition has been inherited through the generations until this modern era.
Men with more than a wife are seen as leaders with important roles in the community. However the concept is changing in the Highlands and on the coast.
Most people today have access to material goods which pave the way for them to decide about whether to have another spouse.
Polygamy in this modern age tends to be a hindrance to the accumulation of wealth. Low income earners are vulnerable to their own needs and wants.
A hardworking spouse can raise livestock and money to enrich the family but a stubborn spouse can ruin the husband. Polygamy will either doom or sustain the family.
But in our country today, lives are lost due to polygamy. Frequently arguments and murder occur as a result of unfair treatment and favouritism.
There is a debate on the floor of parliament to abolish polygamy.
Most politicians are hooked on polygamy yet are caught between deciding to support the practice or abolish it. It will be quite humorous to hear the polygamous deciding not to practice polygamy.
In these days, polygamy can also increase the likelihood of HIV infection. This contagious disease can multiply through having multiple sexual partners.
Christian dogma and Biblical principles forbid polygamy to give exposure to the nuclear family, teaching about harmonious family welfare.
Though culture does not hinder polygamy, perceptions now seem to be moving against its practice.