Widowhood and the Contending Odds in Africa: a Review

Widowhood and the Contending Odds in Africa: a Review

J. D. Kamatikibiu

Primary Health Care Authority, Gombi Local Government Area, Adamawa State, Nigeria

American Journal of Clinical Research and Reviews

The objective of this paper is to review the contending issues of widowhood in Africa with particular emphasis on Nigeria. Across different cultures in Nigeria, there exists harmful traditional widowhood practices that have attracted the attention of the global struggle especially on violence against women. Sufficient evidence suggests that, widows are often mal-handled by the society and thrown into financial, psychological, sexual and social trauma. The growing excess of widows in Nigeria is due to factors such as lower mortality rate among women than men, younger wives than husbands, wives with greater likelihood of outliving their husbands and higher remarriage rates among the widows than widowers. In the twenty first century, the clash of civilization reminiscent in culture and modernity has produced discernible patterns of decline in widowhood practices in all cultures in Nigeria. For instance, the factor of restricting a widow to a point of confinement is weakened by modernity and the economic demands of modern life. For an educated career widow, the return to work in an urban setting clearly negates the demand for respect for the rules of restriction in movement and association or interaction. Where the widow is perceived to be well educated and wealthy, the widowhood rights are observed more in breach than obedience. In the rural areas where widows may be illiterate, the demands of custom are more likely to be enforced with the presence of many pre-disposed to customary practices. The practice of widowhood rites has widespread negative effects and deeply ingrained social, psychological, economic and health implications for womanhood in Nigeria. From the little available literature, it is observed that, there is a high rate of widowhood among Africans especially in the crises prone areas of Africa such as Sudan, Liberia, Somalia, Sierra-Leone, Ethiopia, Eritrea, the Congo, Niger, Chad and recently Nigeria. Widows therefore, have to develop a thick skin to contend with the realities of the moment in the harsh environmental and ailing economies of Africa.

Keywords: Widowhood, Struggle, Societal View, Africa

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How to cite this article:
Kamatikibiu. Widowhood and the Contending Odds in Africa: a Review. American Journal of Clinical Research and Reviews, 2017,1:3.


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