Uganda: Karamoja Women Ask Govt to Ban Widow Inheritance

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Karimojong women have appealed to the government to ban widow inheritance, a common practice in the sub-region.

The women say they are being bound by their culture to marry their late spouses’ brothers as a way of compensating for the bride price paid to their families.

While attending a review meeting for women from Napak and Moroto districts supported by the Karamoja Women Umbrella Organisation (KAWUO) on Tuesday, the women said culture has infringed on the rights and denied them a chance to choose men or stay single after losing their husbands.

Ms Magdalene Nakiru, one of the women and a resident of Kalokengel village in Lotome Sub-county, Napak District, said government should ban the archaic inheritance of spouses just like it did with the Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).

“This practice needs to be fought because women are not given the opportunity to mourn their loved ones. Besides, the families make choices of a spouse for widows without being consulted,” Ms Nakiru said.

Ms Glades Tebakol, a resident of Lotiri parish in Nadunget Sub-county in Moroto, said the culture was fuelling rise of sexually transmitted diseases.

“The women usually turn down requests to go for blood tests to establish their status before marrying them. On the other hand the men are so impatient to the inherit,” she said.

Ms Marry Losia, a resident of Loputuk village in Nadunget Sub-county, said a lot needs to be done to fight ill practices such as inheriting women by force, leaving women to fend for families while men just relax and wait for food, among others.

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