Remarriage after spousal death: options facing widows and implications for livelihood security
Remarriage following the death of a spouse has important implications for individual and household livelihoods in rural areas. Research in the Caprivi Region of Namibia found that while widowers commonly remarry, the ‘traditional’ option open to women through widow inheritance has been outlawed. While forcing widows off the land is now prohibited, socio-cultural pressures, the status of the woman’s children, and a lack of basic support from the late husband’s relatives can result in a more subtle form of property disinheritance. In addition to upheaval caused by relocation, many widows are limited in undertaking livelihood activities, constrained in their capacity to engage in profitable income-earning opportunities, and heavily reliant on the support of others.
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