The Negative Impacts of Polygamy in Canada

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Introduction This essay analyzes the gender inequality, human rights, and legal context of polygamy. This essay examines Canada’s law that prohibits polygamy and assess why polygamy in not considered a religious right. Additionally, the harms and inequality of women in polygamous relationships will be discoursed, with a review of Canada’s obligation to the International Women’s Convention. Lastly, the negative psychological, health and educational impacts on children being brought up in polygamous families will be examined. Overall, this essay will demonstrate the negative effects of polygamy and argue that its criminalization in Canada is completely justified. Polygamy in Canada: Religious freedom or crime? In Canada, the practice of polygamy is a controversial subject regarding the violation of religious rights (Bala, 2009). Communities that practice polygamy, challenge its criminalization as a violation of their religious rights (Bala, 2009). Despite these arguments, any practice of polygamy within Canada leads to prosecution under Criminal Code section 293 (Sweet, 2013). This law puts forward the concerns of whether section 293 is consistent with the constitutional right that guarantees Canadians of the freedom of religious belief. Including concerns of whether section 293 unreasonably causes discrimination against religions that practice polygamy (Buck, 2012). However, Canada deems various harms connected to polygamy, which help justify section 293. In Canada, polygamy is depicted as being against Canadian values and not being coherent with Canada’s national identity (Sweet, 2013). Section 293 reinforces the restrictions on religious practices to ensure they are within the boundaries of Canadian values (Sweet, 2013). It... ... middle of paper ... ...due to inadequate education (Bala, 2009). Insufficient education also causes children to become irresponsible citizens and additionally causes a negative impact to the broader society (Campbell, 2005). In some cases, polygamous families discriminately forbid females to partake in secondary education (Buck, 2012). This act violates the right to education for these girls (Cook & Kelly, 2006). Young girls are given an education that prepares them to be the future wives and mothers, they are taught to accept the unequal role of being dominated by males (Bala, 2009). Additionally, the inadequacy of sex education given to girls can cause girls to be unaware of sexual disease and high-risk sexual practices (Cook & Kelly, 2006). Even if the polygamous girls are allowed to attend the religious schools, the likelihood of sex education is improbable (Cook & Kelly, 2006).

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