Marriage, which means sharing both happiness and grief, is an important issue in all over the world. After marriage some responsibilities occur for both men and women. In today's world, Turkish men and women generally share these responsibilities like earning money or taking care of the children; but in Nigeria women are seen as creatures that are only responsible for giving birth. There are of course some parts of Turkey that women are inferior but they gained too many rights in last decades and now they are equal with men. Some issues like polygamy, the status of women in family, inheritance and divorce show some differences in Nigeria and in Turkey which derives from lack of education in Nigeria.
Polygamy is legal in northern part of Nigeria but it is not legal in Turkey. Both of the countries are Islamic, and in Islam it is legal for a man to have up to four wives.
The first wife is supposed to have the greatest status but generally the youngest wife is considered as the favourite. But also the younger wives generally do the housework, cooking and etc. It is like that in Nigeria and in some small parts of Turkey. Also the ceremony before the marriage is nearly the same in these countries, which is called the introduction. According to Marriage & Family, in introduction ceremony the groom's family introduces themselves to the bride's family and asks for their permission about the marriage. The bride's and the groom's families sit in the opposite sides of the room and generally groom's father starts the speech (http://www.motherlandnigeria.com/life.html, p.4-8). After the introduction the engagement and the wedding ceremony take place. The ceremonies are the same in Turkey and in Nigeria because both of the countries are Muslim and these similarities in their traditions derive from their religion, Islam. But in turkey religious marriage is not accepted legally, so do polygamy, the couples can have a religious marriage after the civil marriage if they want. But in some small parts of Turkey the situation is different. There are still man who marry with more than one woman, which is not legal in Turkey. On the other hand in Nigeria, man can marry with more than one woman. For instance, during the 1974 survey, "more than 83% of a 213 selected husbands in Nigeria thought that their culture expected them to have as many wives as they can" (Ukaegbu, 1977, p.8). This shows that Nigerian man are for polygamy, it is legal as their culture and their religion also permit them to have up to four wives. So it can be said that in Nigeria and in some parts of Turkey marriage does not consist emotional facts because a man cannot love four woman at the same time. There are also credible reports that, "poor families often sell their daughters into marriage in Nigeria as a means of supplementing their incomes, many young girls are forced into marriage as soon as they reach puberty."(Women's rights- Nigeria, 1995, p.3). From this example it can be said that having daughters is considered as an economical hardship in Nigeria so in order to get a bride wealth, parents force their young daughters to marry with a man that she does not love. In addition to these, the traditional and the Islamic systems of polygamy proves that women are still inferior in Nigeria and in some parts of Turkey.
The other important issue is the status of women in family, which are generally different in Nigeria and Turkey. In turkey before the 1980s, a woman's job is suporting the family physically and psychologically by doing the housework, taking care of the children and etc. Whereas a husband's responsibility is supporting the family financially and being the authority. It can be seen from this example that the Turkish family was patriarchal and women were inferior in the family, before 1980s. But after the mid 1980s the role of the women had changed. The responsibility and the social role of women is started to be identified as a wife, a mother, a housewife and a working women ( TÃÂ¼zÃÂ¼ner, 1999, p.3). The role of women had changed in Turkey, after the adaption of capitalist economical system. Before this, it was insulting for a man to serve the guests, cooking or doing some kinds of housework but now it is natural as women started working. Because she is also started to support the family financially after 1980s and the patriarchal status of the family had changed. So it can be said that, the change in the economical system of Turkey affected the status of women in family and by earning money, women become financially independent. On the other hand, the situation is different in Nigeria, as most of the Nigerian families are patriarchal and women have a single and a very important responsibility: giving birth. According to Qualls, "Within marriage, women have an obligation to have children. Traditionally, society blames the woman for a marriage without children." (Qualls, 2000, p.7). This means that, the most important thing is fertility in Nigeria. Again, it can be seen that, emotional facts do not exist in marriage in Nigeria. As Denga states that, "there is extreme concern among Nigerian families, to have as many children as possible. Fertility is regarded as blessing." (Denga, 1982. p.1 ). And religion takes place again that Nigerian people consider children as a blessing item because of that, polygamous marriages takes place to have more children. The only responsibility of women is giving birth, as it is the most crucial thing in the north part of Nigeria. On the other hand man should earn enough money in order to take care of his family. The difference is obvious in Turkey and in Nigeria that women have a better status in Turkey.
Besides the differences about women's roles in marriage, a woman has no rights in her husbands family in Nigeria but the situation is different in Turkey. The husbands mother and sisters have much more influence over him than his wife in Nigeria. If the husband dies, women generally receives nothing, although the law entitles her to a share. She can receive some money if she has children but if she has no children she cannot get any (Qualls, 2000, p.6). Here it can be understood that the inheritance again depend on children as it is the most important thing in Nigeria. On the other hand, Turkish women can get money when their husbands die. Moreover, Turkish women can get half of the goods that belongs to her husband when she is divorced ( TÃÂ¼rk Medeni Kanunu, p.17). It does not matter if she has children or not, it depends on herself, if she wants to get money she can get because there is a law for that. If she has children she can get extra more money for her children. But in Nigeria the society condemns divorced women (Qualls, 2000, p.7). Because of that taboo women are afraid of being divorced. On the other hand, women who are brave enough to divorce cannot get any money in Nigeria, though they are financially dependent to their husbands. The difference can easily be seen between the countries, Turkish women can divorce, and can get money after the death of her husband, but in Nigeria women actually has no rights on her husband's family.