Embargo Period


Degree Name

MA in Sustainable Development

First Advisor

Dr. Davina Durgana



Are widows in Southern Cameroon marginalized after the death of their husbands?

This independent Practitioner Inquiry Capstone paper seeks to address whether widows are marginalized after the death of their husbands and whether Cameroonian domestic and international laws and regional human rights have been applied or proven to protect widows in Cameroon against the discriminatory customary laws and practices against widowhood. Information was collected from books, journals articles, and websites, that have discussed the issues of customs and practices against widowhood in Cameroon and other sub- Saharan African Countries. This paper focused on widowhood in southern Cameroon as a case study and gave some examples of how widows were treated in other sub-Saharan African Countries. This also included findings on the treatment they received as widows in their time of grief and how they were deprived of their rights. It has been observed in this study that widowhood is similar across must countries in sub-Saharan Africa. In the rural communities’ customs and traditions are still fully enhanced and are mostly efficient because the women are not educated and are unaware of their rights. In some tribes depending on religious affiliation, they provide the alternative of widows remaining in their communities or remarry where ever they chose. In most cases, after undergoing difficult traditional norms to prove their innocence they were still accused, ostracized and ignored. Major causes of widow hood have been discussed, and suggestions on women empowerment and women’s rights according to UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) resolution should be enhanced in local communities and in endemic regions.