I was a ''wife'' and now I'm a ''witch'' because he's no longer there

esther atosha
Posted June 21, 2019 from Democratic Republic of the Congo

Marriage, a legal union between men and women, makes a substantial contribution to the development of the two partners who have chosen to live in a relationship. However, this happiness shared and lived with a certain intensity knows, as the case may be, a bitter collapse when one of the partners passed from life to death, leaving suddenly the other in total disarray.

The death of the husband, according to customary practices or ethnic groups to which the deceased belongs, could very quickly turn into a nightmare for the widowed woman.

In the Democratic Republic of the Congo, widows are subjected to social pressures that are conformist or alienating and that keep them in a dereliction. These affairs don’t contribute in no way to the emancipation of widows who find themselves at the limit "slaves" of their in-laws or simply left behind.

If in the West, the widowed woman has managed to forge a respectable status thanks to the laws and rules in force, whose scrupulous respect is effective, the fact remains that the situation of that which is in the other regions the globe, particularly in Africa and Asia, remains precarious.

In Central Africa, in some ethnic groups in Congo, after the death of the husband, the woman is automatically put on the floor. Neither she nor her children, in case she had any with the deceased husband, are entitled to the inheritance of widows It is rather the nephew of the deceased husband and more precisely the boy of the husband's sister who inherits all the property of the deceased. Why such a thing? Indeed, according to customary beliefs, there is no guarantee that the children who had the husband with his wife before dying are indeed his because she could have deceived with a lover during all this time. As a result, the husband's sister, who in her case has kept her child in her womb for nine months, has full credibility as to her child's belonging to the family. Thus, it is this child who inherits the property of his uncle. As for the wife and children of the deceased, they are left to their own destiny.

In bushi culture in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the practice of levirate is a real problem for widowed women. In fact, when the husband dies, the family imposes on the widow one of the deceased's direct brothers or cousins, nephews ... as a husband, always to keep her in the family with or against her will. This practice, along with its corollary of sexually transmitted diseases, is helping to increase the rate of people infected with HIV / AIDS and other STIs in Africa.

The population is 95% Bantu, according to this custom a muntu (an African) does not die alone, there must always be a person behind the death of a muntu. When the husband dies, it is his wife who always wears the hat that is to say it is her who is acquitted responsible for the death of her husband. More seriously, these families manage to take the children of the woman by force and then drive her out of the home.

In view of all the above, no woman chooses to be a widow, no woman desires to be abandoned by her love. For this purpose, judicial authorities and other politicians in the DRC where widows experience persistent and notorious humiliation must take the bull by the horns by fighting against these bad practices that contribute to the alienation of women in general - the driving force behind the development of all nations. Effective struggle would require abundant decision-making in the sense of legislation. In other words, laws must be passed to protect widowed women against certain regrettable practices of our traditions and customs.

However, one thing is to vote laws but something else is to ensure their strict and flawless application.

The 21st century is a century when women must not remain under the influence of cultural alibis. It is great time for the widowed woman to stand up and demand her freedom and her rights. Being an actress of positive development, I am personally committed to accompany the government or non-governmental organizations for any action taken in favor of widowed women.

 

This story was submitted in response to International Widows' Day.

Comments 10

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Jill Langhus
Jun 21
Jun 21

Hello Dear Esther,

How are you doing? Thanks for sharing your sad, but informative article about the treatment of widows in your country. So, if you were in a position to make a direct change or improvement toward helping support widows, what would be your first call to action? Would it be to put a certain law in place? Would it be to empower them? What single action would make the biggest impact for these women?

Hope you have a great, rest of the day and weekend:-)

esther atosha
Jul 01
Jul 01

hello jill,
you know since the world creation laws exist , the problem is the apllication .for me the single action that would make the biggest impact is be empower them. this will controvert to his entire fulfillment

Jill Langhus
Jul 01
Jul 01

Hello dear:-)

Yes! I think so, too:-)

Hope you're doing well, and that you have a great day, and upcoming week:-)

SIMON MUREU
Jun 22
Jun 22

I agree with you and do not forget the good elements and atoms there in

Tamarack Verrall
Jun 22
Jun 22

Dear Esther,
It is because of the strength, commitment and voice of women such as you that we are now globally beginning to understand what can only be described as such cruel fearsome customs that must hover over the entire lives of girls and women, and create such pain whenever a husband dies before a wife. It is time for us all to raise this blatant control of men who lead in insisting on this system, and turn it into a major issue for us all in our work to ensure human rights and respect for every woman on earth. Our sisterhood is now global. The treatment as widows, and this old and vicious use of the word "witch" must stop. The burning of women as "witches" went on between the 15th and 17th centuries in Europe, against any woman showing intelligence, knowledge of herbs as medicine or independence. We are not here to be just servants of others. Thank you for bringing this to our attention.
In sisterhood,
Tam

esther atosha
Jul 01
Jul 01

dear tamarck,
thank you for your contribution, ilove evwry single word you said , an am 100% agree with you.
hand in hand let's fight this injustices that suffer women in our communities.

Z.Elias
Jun 22
Jun 22

Hello dear,
Yes it’s a sad fact that women go through a lot, especially when they are carried with a huge amount of finger appointments in the society,
Your voice is a great appeal to alert the authorities and the NGOs to do something about it.
Good luck in what your are doing.
Keep going on!
Thank you.

esther atosha
Jul 01
Jul 01

hello dear,
thank you for your encouragment ,sure i will .
i hope you're doing well.

Kirthi
Jun 27
Jun 27

Dear Esther,
Thank you for sharing your story with us and for educating us on the treatment of widows in your country.

esther atosha
Jul 01
Jul 01

dear kirthi,
sharing is caring , i will keep it up .
thank you

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