Every young woman seeks to have a blissful life with her family. When she gets married, she is always at her best and has support from her husband. She is always alive and active in all that she does.
But the sudden death of her husband can be a total turn around in a woman’s life. Death the blind messenger lives her in disarray as she begins a phase in her life that she has no idea how it will come to an end.
Regrettably, some traditions in our society see widows as being unfortunate people and as a killer, as it is believed that they kill their husbands. There are practices that some culture have that is against the rights of this affected people. Such practices include; shaving the widows’ hair, insisting that she should drink the water used to bath her husband’s corpse. This can be very dehumanizing, imagine a widow who is already in pains on the death of her husband being put through that trauma which because of her present state should not be put into further stress but in some tradition it is not so.
Some culture, even goes as far as asking the widow to sleep in the same room with the deceased person, how painful and heartbreaking can this be? More surprising is the fact that it is her women folk that take her through all this humiliating act of tormenting the woman who is already in pains on account of the death of her husband. They seem to have forgotten that death can affect anyone.
The society looks at widows as outcast, treat them like animals and force them to do things that could be seen as forbidden. The men are not left out in this maltreatment. They collect all the properties the deceased person acquired before he died not bearing in mind that he had a wife and children before his demise. They even go as far as including the widows as part of the properties they are to inherit. The woman is often left in disarray and vulnerable. Some men treat the widows so badly even to the extent of asking them to marry them or they lose their security in terms of finances, shelter and what she would need to raise her children. The widows are invariably taken as properties for inheritance by her in-laws. This is how inhuman some families can be when death occurs in their homes.
However, the big question is that are there laws to protect the right of the widow in the society? They are always at the receiving end and seem to be helpless in their situation. The human right law has not really helped in protecting the rights of widows. There is need for laws that will specifically protect widows. Although there are different organizations and women’s groups that help to fight for the right if widows, there is need to be a law to protect the harsh treatment given to widows on the demise of their husbands.