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Rural Widows, City Widows, and the Fight for Inheritance

Rural Widows, City Widows, and the Fight for Inheritance

Chapter:
(p.178) Chapter Fifteen: Rural Widows, City Widows, and the Fight for Inheritance
Source:
Worries of the Heart
Publisher:
University of Chicago Press
DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226554228.003.0016

This chapter looks at rural Maragoli widows, city widows, and the fight for inheritance. The Law of Succession Bill became one of the major sources of conflict between rural Maragoli widows and other women whom their husbands had married or had affairs with in the cities. National Assembly records showed that members consistently phrased their support for the bill. The succession law created all kinds of legal ambiguities. By using the vague rhetoric of development and national unity to cover up the citizens' real and practical concerns, the new leaders had acted as selfishly and irresponsibly as the colonial rulers before them. By forcing the inexperienced Maragoli widows to defend their rights in callous and indifferent urban courts, the postcolonial rulers were paradoxically beginning to resemble their colonial predecessors.

Keywords:   rural Maragoli widows, city widows, inheritance, Law of Succession Bill, National Assembly

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