DEAR DIARY: Widows also have rights

Saturday June 23 2018

Janet Otieno

Janet Otieno 

By Janet Otieno

Losing a spouse brings immeasurable pain. Now imagine fending off vultures in form of relatives who come knocking on your door soon after your husband’s passing, trying to strip you of your owning rights to property.

Often times here in Africa, a woman cannot properly grieve the loss of her spouse without being harassed by relatives. This is inconsideration at its highest level.

Even with a plethora of responsibilities staring at you, the greedy relatives will turn a blind eye and come for every single property your husband left behind.

Worse still, some African cultures, stemming back to the old days, do not favour a woman inheriting property. This means that you are left with children to look after, but no means of how to take care of them.

Society needs to change. We need to safeguard the rights of women and children.

If it happens that a spouse dies, leaving behind children and a wife, priority in as far as property is concerned should be given to the person left with the responsibility of looking after the children of the deceased, often times it’s the mother.

Widows are going through many challenges that need to be addressed.