International Journal of Humanities and Social Science

ISSN 2220-8488 (Print), 2221-0989 (Online) 10.30845/ijhss

Widowhood Practices in Some Nigerian Societies: A Retrospective Examination
Dr. Akinbi, Joseph Olukayode

Bereavement associated with widowhood is generally considered to be a difficult life event which constitutes a source of emotional and psychological stress which requires a period of time to overcome. This is further complicated by the inability of family members and society to realistically assist the widow through the bereavement process. Apart from the fact that the widow is usually disadvantaged in the distribution of the late husband’s property, she is also subjected to some unpleasant widowhood practices. Such practices include shaving of hairs, wearing of black/white clothes, sleeping and sitting on the floor or mat, being refrained from bathing for a number of days, seclusion and being made to swear with husband’s corpse, among many others. The paper x-rays these widowhood practices in some Nigerian societies and offers recommendations on how to improve the position of the Nigerian widows which among others included the economic empowerment of the widows.

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