Widowhood Practice in Eastern Nigeria: A Comparative Study of Imo and Anambra States

Bentina Alawari Mathias
2015 Social Science Research Network  
Marriage is one of the valued institutions in the traditional African society. Incidentally, it has its own challenges. When a young man or woman gets to a certain age and he/she is not married, society frowns at it. Thus, many couples enter into marriage relationships with a lot of excitements and expectations. However, losing one's spouse to death robs one of all these excitements and expectations and exposes the bereaved spouse to some dehumanizing challenges. These challenges are mostly
more » ... nges are mostly experienced by women in the Eastern Region of Nigeria. These women are subjected to dehumanizing practices which are socially accepted in the region. This paper attempts a comparative study of some of the practices imposed on widows in Eastern Nigeria. A sample of 200 participants was purposively selected from two states in the Eastern Region of Nigeria. The study adopted the qualitative research method. Thus, the analysis was made using descriptive method. The study showed that these inhuman traditional practices in Eastern Nigeria are initiated and perpetrated by the kinsmen (Umunna and Umuada). It also showed that the widowhood treatment is meted out on all widows, but the severity or less severity of these treatments are dependent on the socio-economic and other attributes of the widow. Finally, recommendations were made, which include the need to protect the fundamental rights of widows and their children. ; research fields: institutional analysis, gender studies, conflict and security studies, medical sociology, and international relations.
doi:10.2139/ssrn.2723657 fatcat:tj7hiiq5yfd2ridwi6vyeo4eaq