Also known as bride inheritance or widow inheritance, wife inheritance is an ancient tradition that is still being practiced in many parts of Africa. This tradition dictates that a widow must be inherited by a relative of her deceased husband, often his brother or first cousin.
This is meant to ensure the widow has someone to support her and her children and to inherit her husband’s wealth so that it remains within the family bloodline. The new husband is allowed to engage in sexual intercourse with the widow and bear children with her.
Unfortunately, this practice has become quite dangerous in this era of deadly diseases such as HIV/AIDS. Research shows that wife inheritance is one of the main factors that contribute to the spread of HIV in Africa. Human rights activists also argue that the practice disregards the rights of women to choose their own partners.