Widowhood practices/ rituals are prevalent in Nigeria, the nature of these practices vary from one culture to the other,with the factor of religion playing a significant role.Generally however, widows are made to go through a series of cultural taboos that are both humiliating and dehumanizing. The socio-psychological deprivation that accompany the demise of a husband is often aggravated by these widowhood rites. Some of the socio-cultural practices have overtime attained the force of law and compliance with them regarded as automatic.A widow’s husband’s brothers can be covetous unscrupulous.”chasig off” and” property grabbing” are common everywhere in this region, and even newly reform law have been ineffective in protecting the victims. Widowhood deprive women of their home , agricultural land assets and even their children especially girls to be withdrawn from school.

Solution Engaging Ward Committee in the areas of intervention to serve as vanguard will surely bring solution .The aim is to involve both women and men who will be representatives of various communities in fostering a change in behaviour at community level.This will be i initial workshop, based on participatory approach.

I want web2.0 to help link me up to community where I can get people’s idea on what do. Somebody who can fund raise. Someone who can help build our website.

Take action! This post was submitted in response to Voices of Our Future Application: Challenges and Solutions to Creating Change.

Comment on this Post


Hi Titi,

Thank you for your insightful post and drawing attention to the important issue of widowhood rites. I was saddened to read your description of the way widows are treated - yet your writing also made something stir inside me!

I wonder if web 2.0 might be able to help connect you with other people working for widow's rights in other parts of the world?

Thank you for your post and good luck with your work.

Best wishes,



I enjoyed reading your post and thought it was informative. Widow's rights are very important for women around the world and I think it's great that you're shedding light on this issue. I wanted to know more about the new reform law that you mention. When was it put into effect? Are the authorities able to enforce it at all? Is there any effort to strengthen this law or revise it to make it more effective? I was also left wanting to know more about the Engaging Ward Committee and what it stands for. I think it's great that PulseWire can connect you with people that can help your cause. There was one other thing I was curious about, what is your vision for your website?

Thank you for sharing and I look forward to reading about the progress you make.

Sincerely, Lisa


Can you tell us more about how your committees are working to effect changes in the "widowhood system"?

This is clearly a hugely important issue to womens' empowerment and I'm so glad you are working to effect positive change!

Thanks, Jessi

Today widowood practices are used to oppress and exploit the widows by the members of the husband family.Our commitee lobby the 'custodians'of culture and major decision makers in the community such as the gatekeepers(traditional and religious leaders) to put the family members in check. We also register the widows at the ministry of women affairs in the state.Our office is made available to the widows to register their complaint. Issues beyond us are forwarded to the ministry of women affairs.In as much as we wish to empower these women we are incapacitated financially. Though there is a foundation that donates 20 loaves of bread weekly to the children of these widows who are about 200, it is insufficient. In fact 8 children of a particular widow almost stabbed theirselves over two loaves of bread last week.

Dear Lisa, apology for replying your mail late. I was so happy at the interest you showed in learning more about the widowhood practices in Nigeria.The national Policy on Women adpopted in 2004 was largely on paper but had little effects on the lives of Nigerian women, it was replaced with the National Gender Policy in 2006.Talking about law reforms on widowhood rites, some state government have enacted laws that prohibit malpractices against widows yet the process of passing the 'Abolition of all forms of Discrimination Against Women' in Nigeria was stalled.The bill if passed into law would have been able to address the issue of dsiscrtimination and violence against women. However , four states house of assembly with the effort of women's rights orgaqnization have passed State law to prohibit malpractices or inhuman treatment against widows.Engaging Ward commitee means engaging the community people and the gatekeepers(traditional and religious rulers) so as to effect positive change and enhance sustainability. I would want you to explain more on what you mean by my vision for my website. I dont have a personal website but my personal vision is to exhibit transformational leadership to women wherever I find myself and to give my contribution to the overral development of women especially at the grassroots.