An “unprecedented” number of Muslim women are inquiring about polygamy, the Islamic Sharia Council in Britain has said.
Newspaper reports suggest that thousands of Muslim women in Britain are entering polygamous relationships.
The news comes as the Westminster Government launched a consultation on whether marriage should be redefined.
British Muslim men reportedly bring about 12,000 brides to Britain each year, leaving UK-born Muslim females struggling to find a husband.
Although polygamy is illegal in Britain, many Muslim communities believe it is legitimate for a man to have up to four wives.
Under UK law only one marriage is legal, but men can have “nikah” religious ceremonies.
A BBC producer, who researched polygamy for a documentary last year, said the ‘co-wife’ option was appealing for many females.
Perminder Khatkar said: “In some cases professional women like the idea of being a second wife because it can help them with their careers”.
She continued: “If the first wife is more traditional, she can look after the second wife’s kids as well.”
Hinnah Qureshi, who is from West Sussex and uses a Muslim dating website, said, “a lot of Muslim women who can’t find anyone will settle with being a second or third wife”.
Miss Qureshi added: “I would rather not do that, but if I’m not married in 10 years, I would consider it.”
Last month Guardian blogger Martin Robbins claimed that there were “economic advantages” for children having three parents.
Mr Robbins said: “What’s wrong with polygamy? It seems to be that a child brought up by three loving parents would have some quite big economic advantages, and humans have cooperated in child-rearing since the year dot.”
His remarks came as he attacked the Coalition for Marriage (C4M), a grassroots organisation set up to campaign against the redefinition of marriage. You can sign the C4M petition here: www.c4m.org.uk