Polygamy is "commonplace" within Muslim communities in Britain, with husbands fathering as many as 20 children by four wives, a Peer has said. She has called for a change in the law so that Muslim women know their rights under British law not to be discriminated against.

Although it has long been recognised that polygamy occurs in Muslim communities, it is typically seen as very rare.

But in a statement delivered to a conference on Islam in the UK on Sunday, Baroness Cox, a cross-bench member of the house of Lords, told the audience that polygamy in some communities is "commonplace" and that, as the marriages are Islamic ceremonies which have no legal status in British law, women who find themselves in polygamous marriages are being left without any rights.

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