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Periodical article Periodical article Leiden University catalogue Leiden University catalogue WorldCat catalogue WorldCat
Title:The widow, the will, and widow-inheritance in Kampala: revisiting victimisation arguments
Authors:Nyanzi, StellaISNI
Emodu-Walakira, MargaretISNI
Serwaniko, WilberforceISNI
Periodical:Canadian Journal of African Studies
Geographic term:Uganda
Ganda (Uganda)
urban population
External link:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/pdf/10.1080/00083968.2010.9707581
Abstract:In analyses of widow inheritance, widows are often presented as victims of patriarchal sexual dictates. This study, which is based on field research carried out in 2006-2007 in Kasubi-Kawaala, a peri-urban slum on the margins of Kampala, Uganda, explores experiences of widowhood among the Baganda. The narratives of thirty-five widows and nine widowers revealed a significant heterogeneity of widowhood. Attention is paid to fears and superstitions around writing a will, the last funeral rites, the appointment of an 'omukuza' - a levirate guardian - for a widow, and the sexual life of widows as compared to that of widowers. Although widows generally reported more restrictions and humiliating rituals, the data contest the overt sexualization of levirate relationships. The majority of interviewees opposed the practice of sexual interactions between a widow and her in-laws. The study argues that meanings associated with widowhood are transforming and that the greater diversity in widowhood experiences may contribute to the destigmatization of widows. Notes, sum. in English and French. [ASC Leiden abstract]