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Passive victims or active agents? : experiences of widow inheritance in Uganda

Document type: article
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Abstract: Widow inheritance is an ancient custom among the Baganda, who are the largest ethnic group in Uganda. In the absence of state provision of a welfare system of any sort, this cultural institution protected both the widowed and the orphaned. As the sexual rituals connected to the widow inheritance ceremonies are often forced upon widows, this use of force not only increases their risk of HIV infection but also violates their sexual and reproductive rights. The Ugandan Succession Act does not ensure equal inheritance rights for women; a woman’s access to land and property rights is dependent on her marital status. Not all widows can negotiate their way out of sexual advances by those wishing to inherit them. This is particularly due to poverty, unemployment and other factors. Widow inheritance is common in several countries in Africa and Asia, including Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia, Zimbabwe, India, and China.
Authors: Nyanzi, S. , Walakira-Emodu, M.
Country: Uganda
Category: General
End Page: 9
Serial number: 1
ISSN: 1871-7551
Journal: Exchange on HIV/AIDS, sexuality and gender
Keywords: HIV and AIDS , culture , law , women
Language: eng
Organization: KIT - Royal Tropical Institute
Year: 2008
Region: Africa South of Sahara , East Africa
Right: © 2008 KIT
Subject: Culture, Society and Religion
Start Page: 7
Title: Passive victims or active agents? : experiences of widow inheritance in Uganda