Friday, February 18, 2005

Patriarchy and property

From an article in today's New York Times, "AIDS and Custom Leave African Families Nothing":

Many tribes are patrilineal, meaning children are considered the father's descendants and men are seen as the sole property owners in the family. If her husband dies, the wife may be allowed to stay in the couple's house--but, sometimes, only on condition that she marry one of her husband's relatives. If she wants to move, perhaps back to her own family, she typically leaves with nothing but the clothes on her back.

Or she may simply be driven out altogether. Increasingly, in-laws cite the possibility that a widow is infected with the AIDS virus as reason to confiscate her home.
You can read the article by clicking here.

[To read the Times, use mediajunkie as your name and password. For more names and passwords to enter free sites that require registration, go to]

comments: 0