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Caroline

A Widow’s Might

Caroline had a tough decision to make. Her husband of 27 years passed away and left very little savings or means for income behind for her and their six children. Caroline’s husband was an eldest brother in his family, and, as is custom in the area, Caroline would be ‘inherited’ by the next eldest brother, but the brother gave her a choice: you can come into my household as a co-wife or stay where you are and try to run your own household. The decision was tougher than you might expect, because a widow on her own has very little standing in the community and is ‘unprotected’ – vulnerable to exploitation and exclusion.

Caroline chose to run her own household.