3 African countries struggling to let go of wife inheritance customs

Farida Dawkins Oct 26, 2018 at 03:00pm

October 26, 2018 at 03:00 pm | Culture

Farida Dawkins

Farida Dawkins | Contributor

October 26, 2018 at 03:00 pm | Culture

Marriage among Rashaida tribe...Face2Face Africa

Inheritance of property is a big deal on the continent of Africa. Each region and tribe has its own unique set of guidelines related to the distribution of goods, property and money left behind by a deceased person.

If the deceased is a male and married, things can get complicated. Most tribal lines are patriarchal and property left behind tends to go to other male relatives.  Unfortunately, many times the wife and children are neglected and mal-treated as they can easily be displaced and forced into financial hardships which can in turn cause poverty.

In extreme cases, the widow is forced to remarry quickly to a male relative of her husband – a sibling or cousin. This is called wife inheritance or levirate.

Here are three countries where wife inheritance is still practised:


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