Influence of widow inheritence on women's property rights. a case of Kawadhgone location, Homabay County, Kenya
Widow inheritance is a practice that is done in many countries globally. In sub Saharan Africa, it is a culture that has been there since time immemorial. In Kenya, 70% of the communities practice widow inheritance. As many male spouses die, more and more widows become vulnerable to succumb to inheritance. The situation is worse in western part of Kenya where widow inheritance has become the order of the day. The practice is uptake in Nyanza province especially in Kawadhgone location, Homabay County. In this region, the percentage of inherited widows and the spread of HIV / AIDS through widow inheritance is up. This study was conducted in two sub locations of Kawadhgone location in Homabay County. The purpose was to assess the influence of widow inheritance on property rights in Kawadhgone location. It was guided by four objectives. The study intended to assess the level at which widow inheritance affects land and business ownership as a component of women's property rights. The study proposed to examine the level at which widow inheritance influences further education and investigated the level at which widow inheritance influences husband's savings as components of property rights. The study used descriptive survey design that involved both quantitative and qualitative approaches. A nonprobability sampling technique, snowballing sampling was used in sample selection of 225 widows in Kawadhgone location which is located in west Karachuonyo of Homabay County where the researcher identified the names of the initial respondents who helped to generate the names of the other respondents with similar characteristics. The data collection instruments were questionnaires. Qualitative Data was analyzed directly by the researcher. Using an interpretive approach, analysis of data from individual questionnaire started with data reduction, data organization and then data interpretation. The researcher began to organize data according to certain themes and sub-themes that emerged in the transcripts. The categories were integrated in order to come up with consolidated research information. The data got from the field was organized and summarized in numerical values as per the four categories of the thematic areas of the respondent questionnaires that allowed the analysis of quantitative data using analytical tools and the results relayed in form of analytical diagrams such as: Frequency tables, Distribution tables and Percentages etc. The data was analysed, interpreted, presented and discussed. Finally there was summary of findings and conclusion. The study recommended that the government should do a lot of sensitization and education on government legislations and the rights and freedom of individual. However the study was only limited to Kawadhgone location and also studied only the four variables. Further studies can be carried out in other parts of Kenya where widow inheritance is practised.
University of Nairobi, Kenya