A new Tinder-style dating app, encouraging polygamy, has triggered a controversy in Indonesia. The smartphone app, Ayo Poligami (loosely translated as “let’s do polygamy”), matches men and women – including widows, widowers and singles – ready to be part of “big families”.
Such polygamy, however, could be harmful to wives and promote domestic violence, Adriana Venny Aryani of Indonesia’s National Commission on Violence Against Women told AFP. “When the husband is practising polygamy, women are emotionally abused, economically abused, and sometimes violently,” she was quoted as saying.
Islamic professor Siti Ruhaini Dzuhayatin told The Guardian that men in Indonesia only use polygamy to “justify their immoral practices”.
Polygamy is legal in Indonesia, but is largely seen as taboo. According to a 1974 law, Indonesia allows a man to have up to four wives. To do so, he must get permission from his existing wives, and prove that he can financially support the bigger family. The strict conditions mean most polygamous unions in the country are unofficial and not always harmonious, according to The Guardian.
The app’s creator said over 56,000 users have signed up since it was launched in April. Lindu Cipta Pranayama said polygamy was not the problem, but the deception surrounding it. The growing rate of divorce inspired him to create the app, he said.
Pranayama hopes the app will lead to 50 marriages this year. However, the ratio of users is heavily skewed. Of every five users, four are men.