[13th Meeting of Research Unit on Economy and Development] Dr. Florence Akiiki Asiimwe (Co-hosted with HSP(Graduate Program on Human Security, The University of Tokyo) Seminar #210), December 11, 2015)

Time: 13:30-15:00, December 11 2015
Venue: Collaboration Room 3, Bldg.18 (4th Floor), Komaba Campus, University of Tokyo


Presenter: Dr. Florence Akiiki Asiimwe (Department of Sociology, Makerere University, Uganda. Visiting Professor of Graduate School of Asian and African Area Studies, Kyoto University)
Title: Dynamics of a Widow’s Right to Matrimonial Property: Evidence from Uganda


This presentation discusses the ways in which widows in Uganda are denied inheritance rights to the matrimonial property upon the death of their husbands. Using life stories of widows and case laws, the presentation shows the complex gender dynamics that take place at household level especially when a husband dies without leaving a proper will. The findings reveal that the ownership contract existing within a marriage is sometimes sustained upon the death of a husband except in a few circumstances where a husband dies before he acquired the title deed.

Married women whose names were not on the title deed of the matrimonial home before the death of their husbands are unable to inherit the matrimonial home especially when the husband died intestate. A widow’s user rights of the home are in jeopardy when she is in unrecognized marriage relationship. A married woman is denied inheritance rights of the home in a case where her husband does not name her as sole executor and sole beneficiary. Similarly, a married woman is denied inheritance rights in a situation where the husband bequeaths the matrimonial home to the youngest son.

In a case where the husband bequeaths the matrimonial home to his wife but she did not have children with the deceased and the deceased had other children from other relationships, the widow is unable to inherit the home due to interference from her husband’s children.

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