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Knowledge and perception of widowhood rites among adults in Ilorin, Kwara State

S.A. Aderibigbe
M.O. Lawal
F.A. Olatona
O.O. Sekoni
O.O. Goodman
S.K. Olubiyi
M.S. Olaosebikan


Widowhood rites vary from one community to another and some of these rites violate a woman's human rights. In some communities, discussion of intimate topics such as widowhood rites are considered as taboos, thus allowing for little research in the aspect of widow abuse in Africa. This study determined the knowledge and perception of widowhood rites among adults in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria. A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used. Interviewer administered questionnaires were used to collect information from 450 respondents who were selected using a multistage sampling technique. Majority (79%) of the respondents had fair knowledge regarding widowhood rites. Knowledge of widowhood rites was not shown to be influenced by age, gender, religion, tribe and marital status of respondents. However, the level of education and occupation was shown to significantly influence the knowledge of widowhood rites (p<0.05). A total of 170 (39.7%) respondents perceived widowhood rites as gender-based violence while 67.6% opined that widowhood rites violate a woman’s basic human rights. There is a need to create more awareness and sensitization on widowhood rites through the mass media in order to improve knowledge of widowhood rites.

Keywords: knowledge, perception, widowhood rites, Nigeria

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eISSN: 1117-4153