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27 Nov 2018 10:19

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<h1>New Clothes And Cash: Social Media Fuels Niger 'bride Value' Controversy</h1>

<p>It was Rakiatou Idi’s wedding ceremony night time. She waited for her new husband on their new mattress of their new house while a joyful gang of young wedding ceremony company filed in and out to take photos of her on their telephones. A couple of months earlier Mohammed, a metropolis boy, had come to their village on the green banks of the Niger river and asked her to marry him.</p>

<p>He introduced with him some suitcases full of new clothes and shoes, and 300,000 CFA (&pound;400) in cash - the brideprice. “It was an unforgettable evening,” he mentioned. The couple’s buddies and siblings made a photo montage of the couple and the gifts, posting it on social media. “It’s to avoid any doubt,” Rakiatou mentioned. In some elements of the world, a pair announce their betrothal with an engagement-ring selfie on Facebook.</p>

<p>Among the urbanites of Niger, a pile of suitcases and a wad of money have turn out to be the equal. On coronary heart-themed backgrounds peppered with kiss emojis these montages now fill Fb feeds and WhatsApp groups across Niger. And, in keeping with Nigerien women’s activists, they heap stress on younger ladies to get married too soon.</p>

<p>Brideprice images fill Samira Ousmane’s social media feeds. However the activist and founder of Nigerielles journal lamented the truth that the money, formerly a secret between the couple and their immediate families and often ranging between 50,000 and 15m CFA, has change into something to showcase about. “It creates a want when you see others posting these sorts of photos and it pushes you to simply accept males you don’t love or when you’re not ready,” Ousmane said. There's already numerous pressure on women to get married early: three-quarters of Nigerien women marry earlier than their 18th birthday, the best charge of baby marriage on the earth.</p>

<p>A girl’s schooling is normally over when she gets married and married life is usually hard, with high ranges of home abuse. However technology is making it tougher and is altering some aspects of dating and marriage. Fb has been used as a dating service in Niger for years. Nigerien women receive hundreds of friend requests and messages from men who “drag” Facebook trying to select up women and ladies. Rabi Maikano met her husband on Fb however the social network also almost destroyed their relationship as after they have been married he stored messaging different ladies, flirting with them and “liking” their pictures.</p>
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<p>They had been on the verge of divorce however Maikano salvaged the situation by defriending her husband. Divorce charges have soared because of social media, in line with Niger’s most senior marabouts, or religious teachers. Each week they counsel sad couples and their primary piece of advice is for husband and wife to not have access to each other’s telephones. “Twenty years in the past the number of divorces didn’t even attain the lots of,” stated Sheikh Djibril Karanta, sitting with three marabouts in white robes and gold watches within the Islamic association headquarters in the course of a treeless clearing in Niamey.</p>

<p>Final 12 months, by contrast, 820 couples obtained a divorce by way of the association. They lay the blame on Fb and WhatsApp for making infidelity straightforward. “It’s not good. It’s towards our religion. Persons are abandoning our culture for a foreign one and it’s all due to social media,” Karanta said, adding that women had been more at fault than men.</p>

<p>“Most of the time, the ladies are the issue. They watch Television series from abroad, and see how ladies earn money and are equal to men. Indeed, Nigerien women are getting concepts beyond their conventional station. For one factor many really feel more and more empowered to make their own relationship decisions. Nevertheless, some issues will not be changing: men can and sometimes do have as much as 4 wives. Seven days after getting married Fati Boubacar’s “sister” - her husband’s senior wife - was making her life hell.</p>

<p>The towering pile of pink suitcases from her brideprice image were on high of the wardrobe but she was beginning to wonder whether she should repack them and if the 1m CFA (&pound;1,350) brideprice she received was sufficient. “The furniture I brought with me was value greater than that,” she said, struggling to keep the tears in.</p>

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