• Thomson Reuters Foundation


Niger’s top court has outlawed the practice of keeping women as maids and sex slaves known as “fifth wives,” capping a decade-long legal battle by one victim that could inspire others in the West African nation to seek justice, lawyers and activists said.

The “fifth wife” custom — also known as wahaya — is when in addition to the four wives permitted by Islam, rich men take on other, unofficial wives who live as domestic and sexual slaves, said Britain-based group Anti-Slavery International.

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