In Nigeria a married man cannot die of natural causes, his wife must have had a hand in his death. In both urban and rural areas widows are made to suffer for their husbands' death. As a first rite, her head is forcibly shaven, she is forbidden to bathe, and made to sit on the bare floor for at least a month. Even if the deceased had made a will, his family moves in immediately to take over his possessions, and a widow's own older children must be on guard to make sure she comes to no harm.
This film looks at the problem in three different areas of the country, and explores the way denial of inheritance and property rights is forcing growing number of widows to join the ranks of the homeless in the shantytowns of major cities like Lagos.
Other titles in the series are:
Where Truth Lies - A dramatic case before the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Going Home - 10-year old soldier escapes rebel forces in Sierra Leone.
In the Name of Safety - False imprisonment violates due process in Bangladesh.
Smiles: The Hypocrisy of Thai Politics - The struggle for greater democracy and free speech in Thailand.
Discipline with Dignity - The attempt to end corporal punishment in Nepalese schools.
Grade Level: 9-12, College, Adult
US Release Date: 1999
Copyright Date: 1999
DVD ISBN: 1-59458-743-4
VHS ISBN: 1-56029-806-5
"An excellent video to illustrate the power of cultural practices in maintaining gender inequality."
Susan M. Alexander, Dept. of Sociology, Saint Mary's College