Synopsis

The purpose of the book is to highlight the plight of widowhood among women. It is a memoir reflecting personal experience by the author, a widow for 33 tears. The book seeks to expose ill cultural practices, myths, tradition, beliefs and societal expectation towards women widows.

Harmful-cultural practices highlighted by the author include imposed cleansing rituals before and after the burial of her late husband, the ill- treatment she received in the so called ‘widow’s room, the isolation from family members, exclusion from the funeral arrangements of her husband, imposed wearing of black attire for one year as a sign for mourning and grieving her husband,  property grabbing by the members of the husband’s family, gross violation of her human rights; cutting of the private parts as a ritual in preparation of the prospective husband, the shaving of the hair, imposed cleansing of the house to dispel the spirit of the dead husband, arranged marriage,  and the fights over her husband’s estate by the in-laws.

Furthermore, the book highlights the gross violation and abuse of women by women in the name of culture and religion. It shows that the crafters and implanters of the ill cultural practices are women, most of them coming from different religions. The author shows how powerful, how ruthless and merciless these women can be. She went through it all for the duration of twelve months.

The book also shows the silence engraved in the minds of widows. The author was groomed to keep the secret of the harmful rituals to herself, the secret she kept for 33 years until the present moment when she decided to break the silence.

The author warns women of all colours, level of education and class that the harmful cultural practices knows no colour, class, nor respect of one’s education. In her personal narrative she highlights her level of education and class at the time of her ordeal, she holds a degree in Nursing, a working-class lecturer, yet she regrettably submitted to the ill-cultural practices.

The last aspect of the book is to empower women, married, single and elderly women to become aware of the torment, cruelty, violation of rights and abuse of widows in the name of culture and religion. Women are encouraged to stand united against the scourge of abuse of widows and to break the silence.

Spread the love