PROBLEM ENCOUNTERED BY THE WIDOW IN KADUNA SOUTH
research work titled “The
Problem Encountered By The Widow In Kaduna South” this research is carry out to
examine the problem of widow and their relationship with their husband’s
relations, a large number of the widows claimed to be in conflict with their
husbands’ relations. This may not be unconnected with frictions, which arise in
an attempt by their husband’s relations at trying to disposes them. The study
also shows that majority of the widows do not have sufficient education and
hence not empowered before their husbands’ death. This in effect contributes to
the major problems, which affect most of the widows. On sources of support for
the widows and their children, majority of the widows are farmers and petty
trades and do not have other sources of support apart from themselves. A social
survey was adopted in carrying out this project with a sample size of 50 was
selected for this research work. The study recommends the active involvement of
government, churches, widows’ relations and friends and social workers in
assisting the widows. What the work achieves is the mapping out of welfare
packages for widows, which if adopted by government, will be very helpful in
solving the problem of widows. This research hopes to be a major contribution
to the growing literature on widowhood and gender issues.
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Title page - - - - - - - - - - i
Declaration - - - - - - - - - - ii
Approval Page - - - - - - - - - iii
Dedication - - - - - - - - - - iv
Acknowledgement - - - - - - - - v
Abstract - - - - - - - - - - vi
Table of contents - - - - - - - - - vii
Chapter one: Introduction
Background of the study - - - - - - - 1
Statement of problem - - - - - - - 3
Objectives of the study - - - - - - - 4
Significance of study - - - - - - - 4
Research questions - - - - - - - - 6
Scope of the study - - - - - - - - 6
Definition of terms - - - - - - - - 7
CHAPTER TWO: LITERATURE REVIEW
2.0 Introduction - - - - - - - - 8
2.1 Widowhood rites
and rituals - - - - - - 8
practices - - - - - - - 13
2.3 Disinheritance of
widows - - - - - - 23
2.4 Violation of
widows’ rights - - - - - - 28
2.5 Psychological and
emotional effects of widowhood - - 30
CHAPTER THREE: RESEARCH METHODOLOGY
3.0 Methodology - - - - - - - - 36
3.1 Research design - - - - - - - 36
3.2 Population of the
study - - - - - - - 37
3.3 Sample size and
sampling technique - - - - 37
3.4 Instruments for
data collection - - - - - 37
3.5 Administration of
the instrument/data collection- - - 38
3.6 Data Analysis -
- - - - - - 39
CHAPTER FOUR: Data presentation and analysis
analysis and discussion- - - - - - 41
4.1 Analysis of
respondents characteristic- - - - - 41
4.2 Effects of
widowhood - - - - - - - - 42
perception of widows- - - - - - 46
CHAPTER FIVE: Summary of findings, Conclusion and
5.0 Introduction - - - - - - - - 49
5.1 Summary - - - - - - - - 49
5.2 Conclusion - - - - - - - - 50
5.3 Recommendation - - - - - - - - 50
Bibliography - - - - - - - - - 54
Appendix i - - - - - - - - 56
1.1 BACKGROUND OF STUDY
Widowhood is seriously
attracting attention professionals in Nigeria. This is because of cultural
factors associated with women after the death of their husband. This project
examines the problem encountered by widow in Kaduna south Local Government
Widowhood is one of the events of life, which
women go through. It is the loss of a husband, breadwinner and supporter.
According to Saba (19)7), (his event, is usually followed by a period of
bereavement after which the woman begins to adjust to the loss, and plans for
her future and the future of her children.
There is no doubt that
widowhood is a big problem, which is affecting a large percentage of women
today. As we all know, a highly dependent woman may Find it very difficult
carrying on the daily responsibilities of her family all alone. This is because
she has been used to her husband providing for the family. This, in effect,
explains why in most cases, the woman will be too confused to know that she is
supposed to come to terms with the fact that she can never bring her husband
back to life, and as such, should start thinking about how to adjust to her new
role as the head of the family. Apart from the initial psychological effects of
widowhood, there are also long-term effects of widowhood on women (Saba 1997).
Bodge (1950); Holden
and Kuo (1906) opines that widowhood has been noted ( be accompanied by a drop
in economic well—being of women and according to Saba (1997), this drop in
economic well-being is usually very stressful for women because traditionally,
the men are supposed to be the breadwinner and provider. When the woman
suddenly finds herself occupying this role, she is likely to become so tensed
up and confused, that if she is not counseled, she and her children may end up
suffering throughout their lifetime.
In many parts of
Nigeria, widowhood has been identified as a form of social problem. It debases
womanhood as well as creates economic instability and uncertainty for both
widows and their children.
Most widows’ problems
start immediately after the pronouncement of their husbands’ death. In some
cases, the relatives do demand for documents of their husbands’ property and
even go to the extent of dispossessing them of their husbands’ bank accounts.
Widows and their
children arc maltreated by their husbands/fathers’ relations. They arc treated
as if they have no right to exist. This maltreatment usually leads to
psychological breakdown of the widow. Her children not left. Out as most of
them are withdrawn from school because their mother has been dispossessed of
all she has. This type of neglect results in the children of the widow becoming
societal deviants as they may seek solace in gangs and involve themselves in
some forms of deviant behavior.
1.1 STATEMENT OF PROBLEM
In Kaduna south local
government just like in many other states of Nigeria, widowhood practices are
seen as serious problems, which also have serious implications to widows, their
children, and the society.
Many widows arc made
to go through a series of dehumanizing treatment, which according to the people
who administer these practices, is to purify the widow against some ill luck,
which are associated with widowhood. This treatment affects the widows
physically, psychologically and emotionally, thereby causing havoc to them.
It has also been
observed that most widows are dispossessed of their husbands’ property in the
event of their husbands’ death. This affects both the widows and their children
adversely. Even more is that most of the widows arc not economically empowered
before the death of their husbands. This most times, could lead to their
children being withdrawn from school because their mother has been dispossessed
of all her possessions. This development could have negative impact on the
children of the widows.
This study therefore
investigates the various effects of widowhood practices on the widows in Kaduna
south local government with the aim of suggesting intervention, which if
implemented, will help the widows and their children cope with everyday living.
OF THE STUDY
The objectives of this
study therefore tire the following:
investigate the various effects of widowhood as social problem.
identify various intervention strategies which will help in alleviating the
problems of widows and,
examine ways in which widows can be empowered through committed activities of
the government, social workers, widows associations, non-governmental
organizations, churches and relations.
1.3 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
The study of widowhood
will help the general public to understand the effects of harmful widowhood
This research will
also help widows to learn how to resist some obnoxious widowhood practices.
These practices have posed challenges to social workers, who are expected to
help in enlightening the widows on their right to resist some attempts at
coercing them into dehumanizing
some intervention strategies that are mapped out, the investigation will help
widows adjust and work towards realizing their full potentials
of Ibis study is that it poses a challenge to
social workers and
non-governmental organizations that widows problems arc areas which have been
neglected for so long, as such effort should be channel towards looking into
the affairs of widows, thought the organization of seminars and symposia,
provision of counseling services both in the areas of career and crises
management, and the enlightenment of the general public.
The study also stands
to favour the widows and their children as the enlightenment, programmes and
workshops will help in educating the general public, especially husbands to
write their wills and also empower their wives when they arc alive, so that
they will not be subjected to any dehumanizing treatment or even dispossessed
in the event of their deaths.
Widowhood study is a
very wide area of research. Most communities in Nigeria have varying degrees of
widowhood practices and experiences. This research will certainly not be able
to undertake a comprehensive investigation of various issues and questions that
are associated with widowhood practices, rituals, and experiences in the entire
country. This study will be limited to the Kaduna south local government area.
1.5 OPERATIONAL DEFINITION OF TERMS
1.5.1 Widow: A woman who lost her
husband to death.
1.5.2 Marriage by
This is also known as levirate. It is a tradition being carried out by some
communities whereby a widow is forced to marry the brother of her late husband,
if she is to remain in her late husband’s house.
These are actions, which arc carried out either by the widow or the relations
of the deceased to the widow in fulfillment of some rites, which are
administered to the widow, during the mourning period.
These are unpleasant customary practices carried out by the relations of the
widows on the widows. These rituals according to the people, who practice them,
are said to purge the widows of some ill luck, which they may come across as a
result of their husbands’ death.
This as used in this study, means those things that put in place to prevent the
effects of harmful widowhood practices on the widows mid their children, so as
to help them realize their full potential.
This is the act of giving power to the widows in order for them to be
economically independent, socially liberated and legally aware of their rights.