Kenyan widows fight wife inheritance
A group of 29 Kenyan women - all of them HIV positive - have
formed a club
to fight the culture of wife inheritance, which they blame for
of AIDS in the area.
The Obwanda Distress Relief Club was formed by the women - all
widows - in the small sleepy village of Obwanda in the western
district of Homa Bay.
Among the Luo community - who inhabit the district - young
inherited by a brother in-law or any other suitor chosen by
elders. In the past the practice ensured that a young widow's
were provided for and her children were taken care of.
The majority of Luo still believe that a curse known as "chira"
strike those who break with tradition, resulting in the death
Members of the Obwanda Distress Relief Club meet every week to
against wife inheritance and the need for voluntary AIDS
The chairperson of the club, Anne Ogwel, says the biggest
them is ignorance.
"Many people think we are pretending we have AIDS,"
"They say we want to encourage young women to become
big-headed and that
it is fashionable not to be inherited".
Health organizations also encouraging widows in Homa Bay
district to say
no to wife inheritance - but it has not been easy.
Gideon Oswago, who works for the African Medical Research
Homa Bay, says that although now many people are much more
aware of AIDS,
it is still difficult to convince people to discard
A posting from GENDER-AIDS (firstname.lastname@example.org)