Widow Inheritance and Women’s Rights: The Case of the Boro-Shinasha in Bullen Woreda, Benishangule Gumuz Regional State

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Addis Ababa Universty


This study was conducted to understand the effects of widow inheritance marriage on widows among Boro-Shinasha in Benishangul-Gumuz regional state, Metekel zone, Bullen Woreda. To address this general objective of the study, the researcher focused on understanding rationales of widow inheritance, process of the widowhood inheritance rites, the challenges faced by widows in the practice, the multifaceted violations of rights widows face and the interventions by different stakeholders. As a way of addressing the rights violations of women this study looked at four major aspects of right namely; right to dignity and equality, right to marriage and form a family, right to access and ownership of the property, right to health and life. The study utilized ethnographic research approach with qualitative research method. The instruments of data collection used in the study were key informant interview, and focus group discussion. The sampling technique employed for the study was non-probability sampling, purposive sampling technique for the selection of participants of the study. Thus, findings of the study show that early marriage and marriage within clan is strictly prohibited in the community. Another finding of the study was the social, economical and psychological challenges are faces widows in Boro- Shinasha socio-cultural practice of ‘Naata’ marriage, widow inheritance to their brother in-laws. Again, maladministration and resistance from the elder council is also the basic factors for the continuation of the practice in the community. These challenges are results the violations of widows’ rights. Therefore, study recommended that all the stakeholders could be responsible to solve the problems of widows and the harmful customary practices through effective and efficient awareness creation education among the community on the practices



Widow Inheritance and Women’s Rights