Practice and Correlates of Widowhood Rites in a City in North Central Nigeria

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Texila American University


Objectives: This study determined the practice and correlates of widowhood rites in a city in North central Nigeria. Methodology: A descriptive cross-sectional design was used for the study. Multistage sampling technique was used to recruit 450 respondents into the study. Interviewer administered questionnaire and two focus group discussions were used for data collection. Data analysis was done using Epi-info version 3.5.3. A p-value of 0.05 or less was regarded as statistically significant. The study included all males and females over 18years of age residing in Ilorin South Local Government Area. Results: The age range of respondents was between 20 – 79 yrs. A quarter of all respondents (25.9%) were in the fifth decade of life. Widowhood rites commonly practiced in Ilorin South LGA as identified by more than 70% of the respondents include; preventing the widow from going to the farm and market during the mourning period and preventing her from doing household chores. About 16.2% of respondents had ever practiced one or more forms of widowhood rites. There was a statistically significant relationship between age, gender, religion, marital status, educational level, ethnicity and occupation of respondents and the practice of widowhood rites (p< 0.05). Conclusion: Widowhood rites are observed across different categories of people. Age, gender, religion, marital status, educational level, ethnicity and occupation were significantly associated with practice of widowhood rites. There is a need for legislation against harmful widowhood rites by relevant stakeholders.



Widowhood Rites, Ilorin, Nigeria.