Religion: The Rights of Women

Should a Catholic girl refuse to be sold in marriage, even if the price is right? This question, which is significant in bride-buying Africa, was one of many debated last week by 300 Roman Catholic women from ten African countries who met under UNESCO sponsorship in Lome, steamy capital of the French West African autonomous Republic of Togoland. Balancing the imperatives of religion against the demands of custom, they found bride buying acceptable—if rising prices do not shut out Christian suitors.

The African woman's position in society may be hard to equate with...

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