Community Update

World Pulse Toolkits Available!

At World Pulse, we recognize the need for ongoing learning—for you and for your community! Our toolkits are all available here.

We are especially excited to share our signature Citizen Journalism and Digital Empowerment Curriculum. Start learning today!

Women are not Killers

As I was driving out of the compound, on Monday morning June 18, 2012, to drop the kids in school, Adamu the Gateman stopped me and said that he heard some persons crying from a compound; pointing at a house, two compounds away from ours.

Since I did not hear anyone cried and couldn’t see anyone in front of the house, I thought it was just a figment of his imagination and zoomed off to take the kids to school. When I came back, I asked him what happened or if he had any information on why they were crying. While I was trying to park, one of my neighbours in my compound who has a friend in the house told me that her friend’s husband died around 7am that morning.

Mama Bola (not real name) lost her husband to an ailment suspected to be associated with the kidney and a shift of the heart. The man had battled with this ailment for quite some time, in fact there was a time he was bed-ridden for about 6 months four years ago and later bounced back to life. Shortly before he finally gave up the ghost, he had health crises which the doctors said could be manageable, and they kept on managing it until he gave up.

On the ill-fated day as soon as the news went round the neighbourhood, sympathizers who are majorly women, because the women in my area are mostly Self-Employed and Domestic Engineers (i.e full time house wives) started trooping in to share their grieve, sympathise and empathise with the bereaved family.

While Mama Bola was wailing and crying some of us who are highly emotional joined the woman in shedding tears of sorrow. Even though I am not an angel or a prophet, I am sure that the women were imagining, what if it had happened to them as the woman is now left alone to face the challenges of shouldering the responsibilities of feeding, clothing, housing and sponsoring the education of their 2 little boys the deceased left behind.

Many things would have been going on her mind as she wailed and wept on how to move on with her life without the man. As soon as the husband’s relatives informed the Mother of the deceased, she insisted that the corpse of her son be brought and buried in the village. Her instruction was followed and they took the corpse from Lagos to Osun for burial.

On their arrival at the village, angry-looking villagers and relatives of the deceased gathered to receive the corpse with anger, accusing the wife of killing their son whom they said was their guardian angel, even those who lived, worked and interacted with him testified that he was a nice man to a fault.

As usual, when a man dies, his relatives point accusing fingers at the wife for God knows reasons, they alleged that she killed him because nobody informed them of his illness, and why did the wife refuse to tell them about his illness, as the mother claimed she spoke with him that morning that he died, and he didn’t sound like someone who was ill.

On their way to the village for the burial, some family members of the deceased were already asking for the keys to the house and other items and making arrangements for how they would pack his property without seeking the widow’s opinion.
Those who followed her to the village affirmed that the women would have been beaten blue-black as the in-laws had plan to do so if not for the intervention of the deceased’s landlord who took time to explain what he knew about what led to his death.

Is this fair? Why is it that people do not feel for a woman who loses her soul mate? Someone she had lived with, shared same bed with, has children for him, cooked for him and shared secrets with? And the moment he drops dead, that same woman becomes the first suspect.

When will people stop accusing women of killing their husbands? Baba Bola was not wealthy financially, he doesn’t have a car, they were living in a rented apartment in Lagos, and the only house he built was for his family of orientation in the village. So why would she kill him? When there is virtually nothing to inherit? The annoying part of it is that those championing the accusations are mostly women, so how would these women feel if they are being accused of killing their husbands?

Death as we all know is inevitable, my Quran tells me in Q3:185 that every soul will taste death, and one will be given (full) compensation on the Day of Resurrection: if God Said every soul will die, then why do people read meanings to a man’s death and accuse his wife of killing him, but when a woman dies nobody accuses the man of taking of her life.

Nobody cares about how the widow and the children would handle the shock of losing their loved one, and how they
would fare. And to worsen the whole matter Mama Bola just like many other women out there does not have anything worthwhile doing that she could fall back on after the mourning period.

As the world marked international widow’s day, i hope people around the world would have sympathy for widows and not further compound their problems.

Magazine »

Read global coverage through women's eyes

Letters to a Better World

Letters to a Better World

Community »

Connect with women on the ground worldwide

shazia @ shiree's picture

BANGLADESH: Finding Fatima

Campaigns »

Be heard at influential forums

WWW: Women Weave the Web

WWW: Women Weave the Web

Programs »

Help us train women citizen journalists

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

World Pulse Voices of Our Future

Blog »

Read the latest from World Pulse headquarters

The Women of World Pulse LIVE: Meet Olanike

The Women of World Pulse LIVE: Meet Olanike

Partners »

Join forces with our wide network of partners

Nobel Women's Initiative

Nobel Women's Initiative