20171003

Polygamy Dating App In Indonesia Angers Some Women

A dating app for polygamists has sparked controversy in Indonesia, the world’s most populous Muslim nation, but its developer says he “just wants to help” unmarried middle-aged women.

Indonesian law defines marriage as between a man and a woman but polygamy is tolerated in certain circumstances, despite being generally frowned upon.

Ayo Poligami, loosely translated as “let’s go polygamy”, is a free smartphone app that matches married and single Muslim men with women who want to create “big families”.

It has attracted more than 56,000 members since its launch in April, according to developer Lindu Cipta Pranayama.

But some women, especially women’s rights campaigners have criticised the app, warning of a strong link between polygamy and domestic violence.

“Due to the controversy, I initially wanted to shut down the site, but when I saw many women in their 40s and 50s who are still virgins and unmarried I decided to keep it,” Pranayama told AFP.

“Can you image being in your 40s or 50s but never been touched by a man?” added the 35-year-old, who created the app after failing to find a wife on several dating sites.

Adriana Aryani, from Indonesia’s National Commission on Violence Against Women, said polygamy as facilitated by Ayo Poligami could be harmful to wives.

“When the husband is practicing polygamy, women are emotionally abused, economically (abused), and sometimes violently,” she said.

On his part, Pranayama said a high number of fake accounts had caused the platform to temporarily close, but a new version is set to launch on Thursday with more stringent user criteria.