'Wife inheritance'

Jummai Madaki
Posted April 25, 2013 from Nigeria

Hi Sisters. I am sure you are already wondering what this article is all about.Inheriting a wife or rather a widow? Yes.Women in my community are equated to the furniture ,TV set,radio and other household items owned by their husband.This means that when a woman's husband is dead ,her brother- inlaws share the deceased property including his widow! After all, she is also their brother's property.Our culture states that a widow should marry her husband's younger brother to have more children for the deceased! Immediately the man dies,all younger men in the clan become potential suitors,irrespective of what killed him.The widow does not have to leave matrimonial home.The inlaw she finally settles down with,visits.Usually ,the man has his family house,probably with more than one wife. I facilitate HIV/AIDS support group in my village. From investigation , about 60% of the membership got infected through what i referred to as 'wife inheritance.' Can you imagine the 'tsunami' that would sweep through a home with two wives ,two concubines and an infected inherited wife? Your guess is as good as mine. At the moment i have carried out advocacy visits to community leaders to encourage those that want to 'inherit a wife' or marry a widower, to first to go for HIV testing and counseling with partner to ascertain status.It is still a tug of getting people to go for voluntary counseling and testing. I am not deterred by the low response.I will keep on advocating, till i achieve desired success..

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