Deputy governor roots for policy to cater for the rights of widows
Kiambu Deputy Governor Joyce Ngugi underscored the need to have a policy, that will protect widows from the retrogressive behaviour.
Ngugi, a widow, said most of the cultural practices in Kenya have been hurting widows especially when their property is grabbed by members of the extended family.
“We have a lot of laws in this country but we don’t have a good law that will protect widows.
Most widows have died of depression in their quest to find justice,” she said.
The deputy governor observed that for many women in Kenya, losing a husband is usually very painful, especially if he was the family’s sole breadwinner.
She attribued the anomaly to the fact that because most Kenyan communities still practice oppressive customs that disregard widows’ property rights.
In most cases, helpless women are neglected, mistreated and sometimes even evicted from their matrimonial homes.
Still, widows are disinherited and evicted from family homes and land, with serious consequences for them and their children.
Ngugi said poverty, illiteracy and ignorance of the law of inheritance confines the widow to untold suffering, with authorities in some instances colluding with greedy family members to disinherit them.
“Inheritance should not be forced down the throats of widows. It’s more degrading, traumatising and humiliating when this happens in front of your children,” she said.