See This Culture Where Widows Are Forced To Marry Their Brother-In-Law, See Why!! • illuminaija
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See This Culture Where Widows Are Forced To Marry Their Brother-In-Law, See Why!!

See This Culture Where Widows Are Forced To Marry Their Brother-In-Law, See Why!!

Widow inheritance or Bride inheritance is a cultural and social practice whereby a widow must marry her husband’s brother. 

I meant the practice as a means for the widow to have someone to support her and her children financially and to keep her late husband’s wealth within the family bloodline.  The levirate is widespread among all ethnic groups in The Extreme-Nord province of Cameroon. It is common for a widow to marry one of her dead husband’s brothers, whether she likes it. 

See This Culture Where Widows Are Forced To Marry Their Brother-In-Law, See Why!!

In fact, when the husband’s family pays a dowry, the woman automatically becomes part of his property. When the husband dies, ownership of his property-including his wife-is automatically transferred to his family; one of the husband’s brothers inherits his wife. https://youtu.be/Oz1VLAZkgo8

Among the inhabitants of Western Cameroon, including the Bamileke, it is common for the eldest son of tribal chief to marry one or more of his father’s widows, excluding his mother. Women accept such a marriage to avoid being rejected by other members of the community, including their own parents. 

The social structure is so deeply rooted in people’s mentalities that it would be difficult for a woman to refuse a practice that is accepted by the whole community. Less-educated women are unaware of their rights, particularly in The Extreme-Nord province. 

The ALVF representative did not know of any case in which a woman had filed a complaint with the courts or the administrative authority for being forced to marry one of her dead husband’s brothers. The government authorities avoid becoming involved in what they consider traditional cultural practices. 

See This Culture Where Widows Are Forced To Marry Their Brother-In-Law, See Why!!

Under Igbo customary law, a brother or son of the deceased Igbo husband could traditionally inherit the widow as a wife. They also consider this tradition in the tradition of the Urhobo people, a major ethnic group in the Delta State. 

This can have various forms and functions in different cultures, serving in relative proportions as social protection for, and control over, the widow and her children. 

She may require her late husband’s extended family to provide her with a new man, or conversely, she might have the obligation to accept the man put forward by the family, with no real prospect of turning him down, if her birth family will not accept her back into their home.  

The custom is sometimes justified because it ensures that the wealth does not leave the patrilineal family. It is also sometimes justified as a protection for the widow and her children.

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