In Burkina Faso, it’s not easy to get a ring on your finger

They do religious and customary marriage. But when it comes to going in front of the mayor, there is hesitation, reluctance. For many young people, the union sealed before the registrar is random, secondary and would be reserved for civil servants. However, civil marriage is necessary and provides protection for spouses, according to marriage counselors.

Moumouni Zié has been married for several years. He lives with his wife after the customary and religious marriage. For civil marriage, the young designer says he takes his time, and he gives his reasons. “I haven’t had a civil marriage yet, because at the moment there are many civil marriages that don’t work out.” ; in addition to this, he believes that going before the mayor is a foreign practice, precisely Western.

In his sewing workshop, a pair of scissors in hand, Moumouni seems to convince his apprentices who, by raising their heads, seem to share his idea of ​​civil marriage.

“Know each other better”

Not as young as he is, Ibrahim Traoré does not share Moumouni’s vision of marriage. Married religiously for several years, when it came to civil marriage, he took more time. To get to know his partner better, he says. “I’ve been legally married for three years, it took roughly three years to get married. But if we took all this time, it’s to get to know each other better, to know who you’re going to spend the rest of your life with before going in front of the mayor to sign.” he continues.

Christophe Sandwidi is a man in his sixties. According to him, fear in addition to other factors could explain why young people are slow to go to town hall with their partners.

“Some put forward the question of finances, for example the man works and the woman does not, and vice versa. When this is the case, there is hesitation regarding the choice of diet. For others, it is for traditional reasons that they reserve themselves from making this marriage, because once they have difficulties, they are obliged to go to court so that the matter is decided”, notes Christophe.

Protection in case of problems

Marriage counselor, Sidi Mohamed Guigma insists on the importance, even the necessity of civil marriage after religious and customary ones. For him, it is a protection for spouses in case of problems.

“Most often, when there is a civil marriage, it protects the woman a lot, because we see that when the man is no longer there, all that will belong to the man is the family to the village which comes to collect everything. The woman is there with her children, she is left without any possibility of financial or material subsistence to take care of her children. explains the advisor, who adds that men are also protected by civil marriage.

Contrary to popular belief, civil marriage is not reserved for a certain social category. It should also not be conditioned by the financial situation of one of the spouses, advises Sidi Mohamed Guigma.

According to data from the commune of Ouagadougou, the number of marriages celebrated in 2022 decreased compared to that of 2021. In 2021, more than 4,900 civil marriages were celebrated in the Burkinabe capital, compared to 3,600 for the following year .

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