Rights activists have denounced a mass wedding in Nigeria where 100 couples were married at once.
Islamic police in the northern city of Kano recently organised the arranged marriage ceremony to fight a stigma that exists in the country of being widowed or divorced.
Many of the women had been previously married off at a young age for money to men who were old enough to be their fathers.
Bride Hawa Aisha was relieved to be getting wed again: “I can only thank God. It is God’s wish and I am happy,” she said.
But activists say many women who divorced their first husbands due to domestic violence have been pressured into accepting potentially dangerous new relationships.
“I think it is unfortunate that the state has interfered in a personal issue related to whether your choice of partner, your choice of whether you want to be married or not, your choice of deciding what you want to do, when you want to do it,” said Iheoma Obibi, a women’s rights activist.
Officials say their aim is to promote peace in a troubled region. They insist the couples have been properly screened and have been given several hundred euros to start their new lives.