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Rising cases of harmful widowhood practices in Igbo communities



According to reports from a few Igbo groups, “damaging widowhood traditions continue to be practiced—in fact, they are becoming more prevalent.”

“Denial of rights and expulsion from communities for spurious justifications are just two examples of the cruel treatment. An investigation reveals that many Igbo villages still have offensive laws against widows.” Vanguard reported.

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According to Vanguard, One village in Atani, “Ogbaru Local Government Area of Anambra State still engages in the unwholesome widowhood practice of making a widow drink the water used to wash her husband’s body as a means of establishing her innocence in his death.”

Some communities, however, “have modernized or eliminated some of the customs, such as shortening a widow’s term of mourning so that she can continue with her job.”

An opinion was offered on this by Mrs. Chioka Okoli, a woman leader and president of the Catholic Women Organization in Ndakwu, Okija. “She concurred that while certain long-standing customs have been abandoned, the majority of widows are still treated in many communities in ways that verge on maltreatment.” Source stated.

In her words, “I consider it as unfair treatment, the tradition of sitting a lady in an enclosure during the burial of her husband, and people only come around the isolated location to wave at her in a sympathetic way.” She said.

Vanguard further reported, “Another persistent problem that is causing rifts in many families is the practice of in-law brothers bugging a widow for information about her husband’s possessions.”

Source: vanguard

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